Preprint: Differences in STI knowledge accuracy and STI/HIV testing among a random sample of college students: A secondary survey analysis


Objective: This study aimed to describe STI knowledge accuracy and STI/HIV testing service use in college students. Participants: A random sample of 991 university students aged 18-24, enrolled at a major public university, participated in this study in February 2009. Methods: Students took a survey designed by researchers in college health promotion and sexual health. Survey responses were examined for differences in STI knowledge accuracy, and demographic and behavioral predispositions to getting an STI or HIV test. Results: STI knowledge and testing service use differed significantly by gender, race, sexual orientation, STI/HIV testing history, and being sexually active in the past year. Conclusions: These findings can inform health communication campaigns of specific populations to target by providing identifiable sub-groups lacking STI knowledge and not using testing services.

What is this paper about?

This paper used data collected in 2009 to understand the relationship between sexual health knowledge and getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV.

How does this paper improve public health?

College students have low knowledge related to HIV and STDs. Students who have been tested for HIV and STDs have higher knowledge. These results can be used to improve health education interventions for STD and HIV testing.


  • Is this paper peer reviewed? This paper is not peer reviewed. This paper is a pre-print, which is a research paper shared before peer review.

  • Who paid for this project? Data for this project were collected by GatorWell Health Promotion Services at the University of Florida, which is funded by student fees at the university. No funds were used to support the authors of this paper.

  • Are there any conflicts of interest? There are no conflicts of interest.