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How to Successfully Recruit Minority Adolescents for STI/HIV Prevention Research

Disparities in rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV between Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino adolescents and their white counterparts are well documented. Culturally and developmentally appropriate efforts targeted to help these youth establish healthy practices to lower their risk of sexually transmitted infections are warranted. However, such interventions present unique challenges in recruiting and retaining research participants.

A new paper published in the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities outlines successful practices in facilitating recruitment, achieving study aims for adolescent engagement, and ensuring more efficient use of human and material resources in racial/ ethnic minority adolescent STI/HIV prevention research.

“Taking the time to conduct thoughtful, considerate research that directly engages adolescents and young adults is a vital part of developing effective interventions to decrease the heavy STI/HIV burden within this age group and, over time, decrease STI/HIV disparities,” said Penn Nursing’s Bridgette M. Brawner, PhD, APRN, Associate Professor. Brawner is one of the authors of the paper “Successfully Recruiting Black and Hispanic/Latino Adolescents for Sexually Transmitted Infection and HIV Prevention Research.”

Using their experience in successfully conducting research with Black and Hispanic/Latino adolescents, the authors provide insight about how to plan for successful recruitment and retention of adolescents, including the effective engagement strategies like using youth community advisory boards, social media and public venues for outreach. They share experiences about how to select and train recruitment and retention staff, monitor and pilot testing strategies, obtain parental consent, and insight about legal issues.

Co-authors of the article include Erin L.P. Bradley and Madeline Sutton, both of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Yzette Lanier of New York University, Rory Meyers College of Nursing; and Afekwo Ukuku Miller, Kennesaw State University, Department of Health Promotion and Physical Education.