Millennial Behavior - STD's

Part
01
of four
Part
01

Millennials and STI's/STD's

20% of millennials do not know what STIs are, and 27% of millennials do not feel comfortable approaching a doctor about sex. Women are more likely to initiate an STI talk with their partners, while men are more likely to lie about getting tested for STIs.

Partners

  • According to a survey conducted by Cosmopolitan and Esquire, millennials do not discuss STIs often.
  • 47% of millennials stated none of their past partners asked about their STIs before having sex.
  • Men are 3x more likely than women to say that they have never been tested (33% for men versus 11% for women).
  • 52% of women stated they started a conversation about STI testing with their current partner, while only 27% of men stated the same.
  • 31% of women stated they would have sex with a partner who couldn’t think of the last time they were tested, while 57% of men stated the same. Moreover, 30% of women and 61% of men stated they would have oral sex with a person who could not think of the last time they were tested.
  • 60.7% of millennials would rather talk debt with their date than a previous STI—note that 57.6% of millennials think it is only okay to talk debt with a partner when each is "seriously considering combining households."

Doctors

  • 20% of millennials stated they are too embarrassed to go to a sexual health clinic for STI testing or a check-up.
  • 27% of millennials said that they did not feel comfortable approaching a clinician about sex.
  • 49% of millennials said that their doctor had never asked them to do STD testing.
  • In a study of 15-24 year-olds and their parents, researchers found that among women who are sexually active 27% have even lied to their doctors about their sexual history. The study also found that "the hesitancy to talk about STDs goes both ways for patient and physician."

parents and friends

  • 12.7% of sexually active men and women in the millennial age bracket have active concerns about their parents finding out about their STIs which is why they are actively not seeking out sexual health care help.

General Data

  • 20% of millennials admit to not knowing about STIs in general.
  • In a survey of 2,000 Gen Z (aged 18-22) and millennials (aged 23-38), researchers found that 54% of millennial respondents used condoms all or some of the time (which is lower than their Gen Z counterparts).
  • Millennials are noted to have a “hook up” culture due to some of the tech market’s hook-up sites (e.g., Grindr, OkCupid, Chatroulette, etc.). However, this generation has less sex than the other generations. They average 8.26 sexual partners (fewer than the last two generations; boomers averaged 11.68 and Gen X averaged 10 sexual partners).
  • Some experts believe the increasing number of millennials living at home with parents has curbed their sexual activities.

Research Strategy:

Despite our best efforts we were not able to identify more stats on millennials and their openness in discussing STIs/STDs. We reviewed government databases (e.g., CDC National Center for Health Statistics), media articles, and academic sources (using PubMed); however, we have had to use some older sources that go beyond the standard Wonder 24-month limit due to the scarcity of sources that discussed this exact topic.
Part
02
of four
Part
02

Statistics Surrounding STI's and/or STD's

Over 15 additional statistics about STDs that center around millennials have been provided in the findings below. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are some STDs evaluated in the findings. The findings below also focus on the US ethnic demographics within the country.

Chlamydia

  • In 2018, the reported cases of chlamydia, an STD, in the US by the age group 25-39 were 564,785, constituting 2,496.6 rates per 100,000 population.
  • Out of the reported cases above within the age group, 246,595 were male cases, while 312,244 were female cases, and in 940 cases, the gender was unknown.
  • Among the reported cases within the age group, 7,391 were American Indians/Alaska Natives, 9,967 were Asians, 147,884 were Blacks, and 1,525 were Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
  • Other reported cases within the age group include Whites (134,943), Multirace (3970), Hispanics (79,899), and others (180,208).
  • Blacks and Whiles accounted for the most reported cases of chlamydia within the age group in 2018, followed by the Hispanics community.

Gonorrhea

  • In 2018, the reported cases of gonorrhea, an STD, in the US by the age group 25-39 were 258,291, constituting 1,148 rates per 100,000 population.
  • Out of the reported cases above within the age group, 167,134 were male cases, while 90,786 were female cases, and 371 the gender was unknown.
  • Among the reported cases within the age group, 4,169 were American Indians/Alaska Natives, 3,419 were Asians, 90,032 were Blacks, and 536 were Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
  • Other reported cases within the age group include Whites (69,253), Multirace (3072), Hispanics (32,575), and others (55,235).
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "the rate of reported gonorrhea cases among Black males aged 25–29 years was 7.0 times the rate among White males in the same age group."

Primary and Secondary Syphilis

  • In 2018, the reported cases of primary and secondary syphilis, an STD, in the US by the age group 25-39 were 17,819, constituting 79.7 rates per 100,000 population.
  • Out of the reported cases above within the age group, 15,283 were male cases, while 2,514 were female cases, and 22 the gender was unknown.
  • Among the reported cases within the age group, 203 were American Indians/Alaska Natives, 435 were Asians, 6,214 were Blacks, and 49 were Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.
  • Other reported cases within the age group include Whites (5,456), Multirace (343), Hispanics (4,056), and others (1,063).
  • Only about 14% of people within the age group constitutes the number of female cases reported in 2018.

Other Additional Statistics

  • According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "there are over one million new cases of curable sexually transmitted infections among people aged 15-49 years."
  • In the WHO report, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and one other account for over 350 million new cases annually.
  • According to the American Sexual Health Association, "one in two sexually active persons will contract an STI by age 25."
  • Herpes infection is random "in one out of eight people aged 14-49 in the US," and one out of two persons within the same age group has HSV-1, which causes oral herpes.
  • About two-thirds of the world's population below 50 (15-49) years of age are infected with HSV-1.
  • In October 2018, people within the age bracket of 27–45 years in the US were approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the extended licensing of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.
  • Between 2016-17, the cases of urethral discharge (UD) or gonorrhea were reported among the age-group 15-49 years old in almost half of countries in the world.
  • Research indicates that even though millennials and the younger generation are having less sex nowadays as against previous generations, STD is on the rise the more.

Research Strategy

Since the research is centered around millennials (ages 23 to 38 in 2019), our findings on three STDs, namely chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis, were based on the age bracket 25-39 years of the 2019 CDC report. The report also centered on the US and the ethic demographics within the country, giving insights on STD statistics of different people (living in the US either as residents or citizens) within the same age group. We also provided some additional statistics about STDs on the age group 15-49 years. This age group captures the ages of millennials in the context of this research.


Part
03
of four
Part
03

STD's and/or STI's - Awareness Campaigns

Three campaigns focused on encouraging people to get tested for STDs are Get Yourself Tested, Yes Means Test and Talk, Test, Treat. The details of each are provided below.

Get Yourself Tested

  • The Get Yourself Tested (GYT) campaign is focused on young people, encouraging them to get tested for STDs to protect their health.
  • The campaign uses hashtags #GYT and #STDMonth in its materials.
  • The campaign presents the process of preventing, testing for and treating STDs as straightforward and uses streamlined materials to communicate the message.
  • Messages used in the campaign range from slightly playful, such as "Don’t be April fooled anyone having sex can get an #STD" to serious and focused on stats, such as "15-24-year-olds account for ½ of all new #STD infections."
  • The campaign is sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
  • The main creatives for the campaign can be found here.
  • A 2019 study of a student-led version of the GYT campaign in a high school setting showed an increase in STD testing among the students at the target high school after the implementation of the campaign.

Yes Means Test

  • Yes Means Test is a campaign focused on educating sexually active young people about their risk of getting an STD, normalizing the conversation about STDs and encouraging people to get tested.
  • The campaign is built on the premise that "for those of us who are sexually active, 1 in 2 will get an STD by the time we’re 25." It points out that STDs are common and people shouldn't be uncomfortable discussing them or getting tested.
  • The campaign also focuses on testing be simple and "NBD."
  • The campaign uses social media influencers to make STD testing normal and accessible to young people and includes the hashtag #YESmeansTEST in materials.
  • The main creative for the campaign can be found here and a video from the campaign can be found here.
  • Yes means Test is sponsored by the American Sexual Health Association.
  • In two years, the campaign reached 200 million people, resulting in 2 million social media engagements and 8.6 million views.

Talk, Test, Treat

  • Talk, Test, Treat is a campaign put on by the CDC to encourage talking about, testing for and treating STDs.
  • The campaign is focused on reinforcing "that all STDs are preventable and treatable, and most are curable."
  • Some example messages include "Spread the word: #STDs CAN be prevented if you #TalkTestTreat during #STDMonth & all year long" and "Protect your #sexualhealth with these 3 actions: #TalkTestTreat."
  • The main creatives for the campaign can be found here.
  • No information on reactions or results of this campaign was identified.
Part
04
of four
Part
04

STD's and/or STI's - Platforms for Communication

Four platforms like TellYourPartner.org that allows a person to communicate to a partner about STI's and/or STD's either anonymously or in a guided way include STD Check, Don't Spread It, Better to Know Org, and Check Health Initiative For Men Out. Below are the explicit findings on the platforms selected.

1. STD Check

Description:

  • STD Check platform provides help both in communicating with a partner and also finding a lab or clinic for STD testing, including related diseases such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Hepatitis A/B/C, Genital and Oral Herpes, HIV, and Syphilis.
  • The platform provides instructions on using its tool/services to send a text message or e-mail to let the person's partner know it is time to get tested anonymously. First, the person enters a phone number or an e-mail of his/her partner and click send. The partner/s will receive a message/s, and he/she/they have an option choosing to get tested or not.

Reviews:

  • According to 5202 reviews on the company's website (customers' testimonials), STD Check platform has a rating of 9.8/10. Majority of the reviews by customers are positive; thus, the platform is effective and useful.
  • From another review website, Trust Pilot platform, the company receives an "excellent" rating of 4.8/5 based on 2,033 reviews.

2. Don't Spread It

Description:

  • This platform provides tools and services regarding STD's and STI's and will let the person's sexual partner(s) know if they have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease/infection.
  • On this website, the person chooses the type of STD or STI he/she is suffering from. Then, the person enters his/her partner's number, and the company will send a short and discreet message to that person. "The message indicates they may have been exposed to the diseases/infections the person selected and some next steps they can take". The recipient will be given the opportunity to reply to the message, and the replies are anonymous since all conversations are managed through the app.

Reviews:

  • There are no reviews or testimonials published by the company on its website.
  • Also, on its Facebook page, no reviews or ratings have been provided. However, by checking some visitors posts, many of them are appreciating the company for its support to stop the spreading of STD's.
  • There is no record of reviews pertaining to the platform on Trust Pilot platform and among other review platforms. Scam Adviser website is the only website that has some reviews on the company; however, it doesn't have any positive or negative feedback regarding Don't Spread It platform. The site only gives the platform a "higher trust rating and adds that 'Don't Spread It' is safe to use".

3. Better To Know Org

Description:

  • Better To Know is an organization in Australia that provides help for STI and HIV testing.
  • Upon testing, this organization can help a person to tell or communicate with his or her partner about STI status either via SMS, email, or e-post card by using a provided tool in its website. The SMS message is anonymous and the e-postcard can either be sent anonymously or with the person's email address attached.

Reviews:

  • There are no reviews or testimonials published by the company on its website. Also, the organization does not have any social media page to check for reviews or comments from its clients.
  • There is no record of reviews pertaining to the organization on any review websites/platforms such as Trust Pilot.


4. Check Health Initiative for Men out

Description:

Reviews:

  • On the Yelp platform, HIM gets a 5-star rating from 1 reviewer; however, the content of the review does not specifically mention the effectiveness of the notification services but more on to counseling help.
  • On its Facebook page, the company receives a rating of 4.8/5 based on the opinion of 49 people. Most comments are about how the company is being supportive of them.


Research Strategy:

We could find all information relating to the research criteria readily available in the public domain. However, information on the reviews about some platforms, as seen above was limited. In search of these reviews for various platforms/companies, we began by going through their official websites looking for any testimonials from their clients. Next, we searched through customer review websites such as Trust Pilot, Yelp, among others. Also, we looked into the companies' social media accounts such as Facebook, among others. Additionally, we searched for any media articles that could have helped us answer this research question. From these sources, we have summarized the findings of each platform above.

Sources
Sources

From Part 02
Quotes
  • "there are over one million new cases of curable sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among people aged 15-49 years"
Quotes
  • "One in two sexually active persons will contract an STI by age 25."
  • "in one out of eight people aged 14-49 in the U.S."
Quotes
  • "the rate of reported gonorrhea cases among Black males aged 25–29 years was 7.0 times the rate among White males in the same age group."
From Part 04
Quotes
  • "Now, even outside of a clinic, anyone can go online, enter the number of the person they would like to notify of their test status, hit send and be done with it. "
  • "Besides STDcheck.com, other services include dontspreadit.com, bettertoknow.org and checkhimout.com, part of the Health Initiative for Men. "
  • "Medical data is strictly protected by laws in the US, there is nothing stopping someone from prompting another person to think they may have a disease or infection through these sites."
Quotes
  • "If you have recently tested positive for an STD, you can notify your partner that they should get tested by using our free Anonymous STD Test Notification tool. "
  • "We offer you super quick and easy ways to anonymously tell your sexual partner(s) to get tested for STDs. Simply enter your partner's phone number or email address to send a notification anonymously. Your partner will receive the message telling them to get tested for STDs. It is important that your partner gets notified, tested, and treated as soon as possible."
Quotes
  • "Help slow the spread of STDs and STIs by letting your sexual partner(s) know if they have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease/infection."
Quotes
  • "Got an STI or recently had one? Want to tell your recent sex partners but not sure how to go about it? Even though it can be difficult and uncomfortable it is important for their health - and the health of the people they may be having sex with - to know that they may have an STI."
Quotes
  • "The best thing about the process is, the person can just go online enter the number of the person they would like to notify, click the send button and it will be done. There are various sites like STDcheck.com, dontspreadit.com, bettertoknow.org, and checkhimout.com, which can help you with it."