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The predisposing, enabling, and reinforcing factors that act as supports for or barriers to changing the behaviors and environmental factors you identified in Sections 1 and 2 (Phase 3)

The project will find several factors that act as barriers to reducing the spread of STDs. The most prominent barrier is peer pressure, which is a key issue in Baltimore City. Peer pressure results in adolescents having sex with individuals who have STDs and possibly spreading it to other individuals. The behavioral change process will be a challenge for this program because it deals with personal behavior such as drug use, smoking, and risk-taking sexual activity among adolescents and young adults. While peer pressure is a key player in these behaviors, there are other factors that serve as barriers to change such as lack of knowledge about the risks associated with an STD and the fear of being labeled or judged by peers or family members. Also, individuals are unaware of the importance of being tested for an STD. The most prominent factor that acts as a barrier to changing risky sexual behaviors is lack of awareness and knowledge. These individuals do not feel comfortable seeking help because they are not educated on how to decrease their risk or how to reduce their partner’s risk. Other barriers to changing these behaviors includes lack of access to health care, lack of knowledge about emergency contraception (EC), and a lack of understanding that an infection can last years when left untreated.

Community Assessment STIs Baltimore City

The community of Baltimore City is a large part of this project and educating the community will be essential to reduce the spread of STIs. This can be done through utilizing non-traditional organizations that have a high concentration of individuals at risk for contracting an STI. The community of Baltimore City as a whole has an accumulation of non-traditional organizations that can be used to educate individuals about STIs (Burns, 2020). These non-traditional organizations are smaller and have limited resources, but they are located in the city where most of the infections occur. Such organizations will be key members to provide awareness and testing for the project. Planning grant money is allotted for community outreach and education. The project hopes to distribute educational pamphlets, flyers, and posters throughout the city to ensure that all individuals will have access to information. The Baltimore Health Department is working with local clinics to identify the needs in their communities and will be able to answer questions regarding testing and treatment of STIs. The local clinics are essential members of the community because they are located within Baltimore City and serve Baltimore residents.

Sexually Transmitted

The adolescent and young adult population is particularly vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). Teens often lack information about sexual health issues and are at a greater risk of becoming infected with an STD or HIV/AIDS due to lack of access to sexual health information and services (Alhassan, 2019). In addition, peer pressure and lack of control over their own sexuality increase teens’ risk for acquiring an STD. Therefore, it is important to understand the factors that play a role in promoting sexual risk behaviors among youth in order to develop effective prevention and intervention strategies to reduce the spread of STDs. Teen pregnancy and STDs have been on the rise since 2010, but efforts have been made to promote healthy sexual behaviors (Ljubojević, 2010). Cities across the United States have implemented various prevention programs targeting youth to reduce the rate of teen pregnancy, but research on the effectiveness of these prevention programs is limited. The rates of STDs in adolescents and young adults are continuously on the rise, affecting over 1 million people annually. Baltimore faces a number of public health problems including drug addiction and HIV, which correlate with other STDs in adolescents. The project is aimed at increasing awareness and providing services to help reduce sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates within Baltimore City (Hsu, 2022). Many people who contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI) do not have an awareness of the disease or are not willing to seek medical attention. A large part of the transmission occurs through infected partners with no knowledge of their status. The project aims at educating these individuals regarding their risk and decreasing their rates of infection by providing quality healthcare. According to the CDC, Baltimore has 3,707 reported cases per 100,000 people and is the second highest city for sexually transmitted infections rates in the United States (CDC, 2022). A collaborative approach with the Baltimore City Health Department and local clinics will be used to provide education to prevent the spread of STDs. The project will also assist in identifying at risk individuals and providing intervention services. There are several areas to address within the community to reduce the spread of STIs significantly such as economic, social, and behavioral factors. Majority of the prevalence of STIs is affecting those in poverty with limitations on access to quality health care. The prevalence of adolescent and young adult STD rates is on the rise and adversely affecting the health of the local population. Therefore, it is important to understand the factors that play a role in promoting sexual risk behaviors among youth in order to develop effective prevention and intervention strategies to reduce the spread of STDs.

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