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DMHC Research

Safe in the City

“Safe in the City” is a 23-minute video developed to model condom use and other STD/HIV preventive behaviors through three soap-opera-style vignettes. Two interspersed cartoons depict how to use condoms as well as the variety of condoms that are available. The video was developed by the Safe City Study team: a multi-disciplinary collaboration between CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention, behavioral researchers, STD clinic directors, and a film maker, with extensive target group input throughout the video development process. Given the potential to reach large groups of patients, this brief, inexpensive, and easy to implement intervention is likely to have significant public health impact on STD morbidity.
A large-scale study involving follow-up of over 40,000 patients in three STD clinics (Denver, Long Beach, and San Francisco) who had been systematically assigned to the video intervention or control waiting room conditions, showed a 10% reduction in incident STDs among those exposed to the video. The strongest effects were seen among men and those with baseline STDs, while no significant effects were seen among women. The results of this study were first presented at the Jacksonville STD Prevention Conference in May 2006, and subsequently at a recent Turning Research into Prevention (TRIP) symposium at CDC in September. The primary outcome manuscript has been submitted for publication.

STD and Internet Center of Excellence

This is a CDC funded project to develop and assess new methods to enhance STD prevention efforts using internet-based technologies. These technologies will be developed with the aim of making them easily implemented across a range of provider types using standards-based open-source solutions.


This study is evaluating the effectiveness of dynamic on-line STD prevention messages that are tailored to users’ race/ethnicity and gender. Combining a theory-based approach with an engaging multimedia interface, the YouthNet project is exploring how web applications can foster reproductive health in young adults.

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