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Innovation in sexually transmitted disease and HIV prevention: Internet and mobile phone delivery vehicles for global diffusion

Swendeman, Dallas; Rotheram-Borus, Mary Jane

Current Opinion in Psychiatry: March 2010 - Volume 23 - Issue 2 - p 139–144
doi: 10.1097/YCO.0b013e328336656a
Behavioural medicine: Edited by Mohan Isaac

Purpose of review Efficacious behavioral interventions and practices have not been universally accepted, adopted, or diffused by policy makers, administrators, providers, advocates, or consumers. Biomedical innovations for sexually transmitted disease (STD) and HIV prevention have been embraced but their effectiveness is hindered by behavioral factors. Behavioral interventions are required to support providers and consumers for adoption and diffusion of biomedical innovations, protocol adherence, and sustained prevention for other STDs. Information and communication technology such as the Internet and mobile phones can deliver behavioral components for STD/HIV prevention and care to more people at less cost.

Recent findings Recent innovations in STD/HIV prevention with information and communication technology-mediated behavioral supports include STD/HIV testing and partner interventions, behavioral interventions, self-management, and provider care. Computer-based and Internet-based behavioral STD/HIV interventions have demonstrated efficacy comparable to face-to-face interventions. Mobile phone STD/HIV interventions using text-messaging are being broadly utilized but more work is needed to demonstrate efficacy. Electronic health records and care management systems can improve care, but interventions are needed to support adoption.

Summary Information and communication technology is rapidly diffusing globally. Over the next 5–10 years smart-phones will be broadly disseminated, connecting billions of people to the Internet and enabling lower cost, highly engaging, and ubiquitous STD/HIV prevention and treatment support interventions.

University of California, Los Angeles, California, USA

Correspondence to Dallas Swendeman, PhD, Center for Community Health, University of California, Los Angeles, 10920 Wilshire Boulevard, suite 350, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA Tel: +1 310 794 8128; fax: +1 310 794 8297; e-mail:

© 2010 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.