Tampa, FL (Sept. 11, 2014) – Health Improvement Project for Teens (HIPTeens), an effective program that reduces sexual risk behavior among adolescent girls, has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). HIPTeens is the culmination of a 20-year research effort on HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STI) by Dianne Morrison-Beedy, PhD, RN, WHNP-BC, FAANP, FNAP, FAAN, senior associate vice president of USF Health and dean of the University of South Florida College of Nursing.
STIs are a major problem in the Unites States. According to the CDC, there are 20 million new STI infections in the United States each year. Most infections occur in young men and women, ages 15 to 24. In Florida, the number of reported cases has been significant. A recent report from the Florida Department of Health states that STIs have more than doubled in Florida, and more than tripled in Hillsborough County over the past decade.
“The numbers of STI cases in adolescent and young adults in our local community is alarming,” Dr. Morrison-Beedy said. “At both the state and local levels, health authorities are warning us that we have a serious health issue particularly among our youth, and at the same time, HHS and CDC are saying HIPTeens has shown to be effective in addressing this concern. I’m excited to make it available to communities searching for an intervention to reduce sexual risk among adolescent girls.”
During a Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) Evidence Review, HHS identified HIPTeens as showing evidence of effectiveness in reducing sexual risk behavior. As a result, HIPTeens will be made available to HHS grantees for reproduction through the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program.
The HIV/AIDS Prevention Research Synthesis (PRS) project at the CDC also confirmed HIPTeens as an effective program that meets PRS criteria. CDC will add HIPTeens to its Compendium website, and make it available to communities, agencies and organizations.
HIPTeens, which was developed for young women ages 15 to 19, consists of small group meetings that feature entertaining and interactive activities. The activities, specifically designed for teen girls, address HIV/STI knowledge, motivation, and behavioral skills needed to reduce sexual risk.
During a five-year randomized controlled trial of more than 700 adolescent girls, HIPTeens significantly reduced sexual risk behavior and pregnancy rates when compared to a structurally-equivalent control group. Results also demonstrated an increase in abstinence among participants. These results are published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
USF Health’s mission is to envision and implement the future of health. It is the partnership of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Public Health, the College of Pharmacy, the School of Biomedical Sciences and the School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences; and the USF Physician’s Group. The University of South Florida is a global research university ranked 50th in the nation by the National Science Foundation for both federal and total research expenditures among all U.S. universities. For more information, visit www.health.usf.edu.