Efficacy of behavioral interventions to increase engagement in sexual health services among LatinX youth in the United States: A meta-analysis for post-pandemic implications



LatinX youth in the U.S. are disproportionately affected by HIV and STIs, commonly attributed to a lack of diagnostic testing and regular physician consultations to address sexual health. These disparities have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This meta-analysis seeks to assess the efficacy of behavioral interventions among LatinX youth in the U.S. that aim to increase engagement in sexual health services (i.e., STI/HIV testing, physician consultations).


Following PRISMA guidelines, seven electronic databases were searched. We systematically extracted data with a coding form, and effect sizes were obtained from each study on HIV/STI testing outcomes and physician consultation. Moderator analyses were run for demographic and intervention characteristics.

Summary and Outlook

Of nine included studies, the interventions created a small-to-moderate effect on increased engagement of sexual health services (d+=0.204, 95 % CI=0.079, 0.329). Moderator analyses showed that interventions including the following characteristics were most efficacious at facilitating care services: community-based or online setting, access to diagnostic testing, social media/remote components, parental involvement, and longer session duration. This meta-analysis provides informative results regarding behavioral interventions that have proven efficacious in facilitating engagement in sexual health services among LatinX youth. Most prominently, interventions that are remote or through social media, community-based, and incorporated parents had large positive effects. These findings prove useful for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation and provide guidance for targeting LatinX youth to engage them in sexual health services as primary and secondary STI and HIV prevention.


Rosen AO, Bergam L, Holmes AL, Krebs E, Moreno M, Muñiz GS, Huedo-Medina TB




  • Epidemiology and Determinants of Health
    • Determinants of Health
  • Determinants of Health
    • Health services
  • Population(s)
    • Children or Youth (less than 18 years old)
    • Ethnoracial communities
    • General HIV- population
  • Prevention, Engagement and Care Cascade
    • Prevention
  • Prevention
    • Education/media campaigns
  • Testing
    • Testing


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