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Health Forum Online    The Psychologist's Source for C.E. Credits Online

Promoting Sexual Health Among Young Adults: Getting Past the Stigmas of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

by Risa Yavorsky Fridy, MD 2 CE Credits

Even today, sexual health remains a sensitive, personal, and relatively taboo topic to address, for both patients and health professionals. Not surprisingly, many social stigmas and misinformation have evolved around this topic, perpetuating a climate of confusion and, at times, anxiety. Most importantly, these barriers can impede the effective dissemination of important information regarding "risky" health-related behaviors and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), particularly among sexually active teens and young adults. Health professionals can play a vital role in facilitating communication, suppressing stigmas, disseminating accurate information, and promoting realistic expectations and behaviors regarding sexual health among this at-risk group.  To this end, this course reviews the commonly held beliefs, attitudes and stigmas associated with STIs (e.g., HIV, Herpes, Human Papilloma Virus, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Trichomoniasis) among sexually active youth and their psychosocial sequelae. Ways to demystify and debunk associated myths and replace them with accurate health-related expectations and goals are addressed.


Continuing education for this online course is offered through the following approvals:


  • HealthForum is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. HealthForum maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  • HealthForum (ACE Provider #1156) is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. HealthForum maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: (6/20/2017 to 6/20/2020). Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 2 Clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • HealthForumOnline, LLC, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0355
  • HealthForum has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6216.  Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. HealthForum is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.


Course Sections/Outline:

  • Introduction
  • Defining Risk
  • Sexual Health Knowledge and Perceived Risk for STIs Among Young Adults
  • Stigma: The Construct
  • Stigma Surrounding Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Promoting STI Testing Among At-Risk Youth: Understanding the Role Stigma Plays
  • Stigma Reduction Strategies
  • Conclusion
  • References

Learning Objectives:

After completing this course, health professionals will be able to:
  • Identify 6 common risk-factors and at-risk groups for 6 prevalent sexual transmitted infections (STIs) with a focus on adolescents and young adults.
  • Define the construct of health-related stigma and describe its deleterious role in the STI context.
  • Identify and apply at least 4 strategies to eliminate STI-related stigma in an effort to promote testing and reduce risk-related behaviors in young adults across the care continuum: at the individual level, in the media, among healthcare professionals, and in healthcare settings.