Date of Conferral





Human Services


Randy Heinrich


Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a public health problem in the United States, with adolescents and young adults to age 25 bearing a disproportionate burden of infection. Risk reduction counseling (RRC) as a strategy to decrease STI incidence has been a focus of scholars. Research examining RRC efficacy has suggested that RRC is effective for 6 to 12 months after treatment. However, study samples have varied by age, ethnicity, race, gender, and geographic location. Whether RRC is effective for more than 1 year is unknown. The purpose of this post hoc chi-square study was to examine the efficacy of moderate-intensity RRC among adolescents and young adults at 1 and 2 years post treatment. Longitudinal data from an urban public health clinic were analyzed for 300 individuals who received RRC and 176 individuals who did not. The study sample encompassed individuals aged 13 to 26 years and reflected the demographics of the geographic location as well as race, ethnicity, gender, and partner gender preference. There was a statistically significant decrease in the number of STIs reported among those who received RRC at 1 year and 2 years post treatment compared to the group that did not. Moderate-intensity RRC is an effective strategy for decreasing STI acquisition among 13- to 26-year-old individuals for at least 2 years. This study contributes to positive social change by decreasing individual STI acquisition as healthcare providers, counselors, and educators incorporate RRC into their interactions.