Using Smartphone Technology in HIV Prevention Among On-Campus Residents

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Victoria Foster
Comfort N Obi
Lisa Smiley
Kimberly Campbell
Elicia Collins
Rebecca Morgan
Grace Nteff
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Journal Article, Academic Journal
Research Projects
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It is estimated that 1 in 500 college students are HIV positive. In 2017, youths (ages 13-24) were 21% (8,164) of the 38,739 new HIV diagnoses in the United States. Several prevention challenges are noted in the literature such as low perception of risks, low rates of testing, and low rates of condom use. The purpose of this study is to explore new teaching modalities that may increase HIV prevention in this population. The study used a pretest/posttest design. The nonrandom sample included 35 college students (≥ 18 years of age) living in on-campus housing with access to smart phones. Participants were recruited via flyers placed around campus. HIV knowledge and HIV risky behaviors were measured at baseline and at two months using The HIV Knowledge Questionnaire and Sexual History Questionnaire. The intervention consisted of participants listening to two informational lectures, one month apart, using smart phones and QR codes. Upon completion, HIV literature was given to all participants. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, frequencies, and independent t-tests. Participants ages ranged from 18-24 (M = 20.2, SD = 1.57), were mostly females (65.7%), African Americans (77.1%) and heterosexual (85.7%). Almost two thirds (65.7%) of the sample had not been tested for HIV and 1 participant thought that he had been exposed to HIV, although 91% had reported having unprotected sex. Pre-test HIV knowledge scores ranged from 9-18 (M =13.32, SD = 2.32). Post-test HIV knowledge scores were significantly different from pretest scores with a range of 16-48 (M = 17.88, SD = .42). The findings of this study support the need for innovative ways to deliver HIV prevention information to this population. Continued research is needed to help decrease risk behaviors among college students. Keywords: College Students, HIV prevention, Smartphones.
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