Washington [US]: According to research, sending regular messages to young humans who have recently experienced a sexually transmitted contamination (STI) to suggest more secure sex behaviors does now not decrease charges of chlamydia and gonorrhoea reinfection.
The findings were posted in The BMJ. In fact, the findings show that greater reinfections occurred in the organization receiving texts than within the control institution, prompting the researchers to call for rigorous evaluation of health conversation interventions.
Rates of STIs and chlamydia and gonorrhoea are maximum in humans aged 16-24 years.
Health communications delivered by textual content messages are cheap and effective for some behaviors, such as preventing smoking, and the World Health Organization (WHO) presently recommends digital fitness communication for sexual and reproductive health.
But an evaluation of the results of sexual health interventions added through text message found little brilliant evidence, while the effects on key behaviours inclusive of condom use, companion notification, and consequences of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have been nevertheless uncertain.
To fill this understanding hole, a team of UK researchers set out to measure the outcomes of a chain of text messages (‘safetxt’) on prices of chlamydia and gonorrhoea reinfection in younger humans at 365 days.
Their findings are based on over 6,000 humans elderly sixteen-24 years recruited from 92 sexual health clinics across the UK with a current analysis of, or remedy for, chlamydia, gonorrhoea, or non-unique urethritis among 1 April 2016 and 23 November 2018.
Overall of 3123 contributors were randomly assigned to the secure text intervention and received a chain of textual content messages to enhance intercourse behaviours: four texts day by day for days 1-three, one or day by day for days 4-28, two or 3 weekly for month 2, and 2-five monthly for months three-12.
A further 3125 manage participants received a monthly textual content message requesting any trade to postal or e-mail address for twelve months.
The researchers predicted that safe text might lessen the danger of chlamydia and gonorrhoea reinfection at one year by using enhancing three key safer sex behaviours: associate notification at one month, condom use, and sexually transmitted infection checking out earlier than unprotected intercourse with a new associate.
Overall, facts were to be had for 4675 (seventy five%) individuals and traits, including age, ethnicity, schooling, and sexual orientation, were similar between the corporations at the start of the trial.
At three hundred and sixty-five days, the fee of chlamydia or gonorrhoea reinfection changed into 22% (693 out of 3123) in the safe text institution versus 20% (633 out of 3125) within the manage institution.
At 4 weeks, 86% of contributors inside the intervention institution as opposed to eighty four% in the control institution had notified the remaining companion they’d intercourse with earlier than trying out wonderful to get remedy.
Also at four weeks, forty two% of individuals inside the intervention institution as opposed to 40% within the control institution mentioned the use of a condom at last sexual come upon, and this difference became sustained at twelve months (34% intervention v 31% manipulate).
At three hundred and sixty five days, 54% of individuals in the intervention institution versus forty nine% inside the control institution stated using a condom in the beginning sexual encounter with their most current new partner, however the wide variety of STIs turned into no longer reduced.
The percentage of people with a new companion and two or more partners at twelve months also improved in the intervention institution.
The researchers renowned numerous limitations, which include the reality that guys had been beneath-represented inside the trial and that many of their secondary outcomes depended on private reports, which could be inspired via social desirability bias (when respondents over-report ‘properly’ behaviour or beneath-document ‘awful’ or undesirable behaviour).
However, they say the similarity of findings after in addition sensitivity analyses is comforting and shows that their results are robust.
“Our text message intervention turned into grounded in mental theory, incorporating the satisfactory evidence on fitness behaviour trade; however it did now not have the outcomes we anticipated,” they write. “In mild of our outcomes, WHO should revise its endorsement of digital behaviour exchange conversation for strengthening fitness structures, to specify which subjects and content WHO endorses.”
Further research must consciousness of how to lessen the stigma associated with STIs to advantage wellness, remedy, and precautionary behaviours for people with a prognosis of an STI, without increasing the threat of contamination, they upload.