McNair Scholars Research Journal


Studies show a meaningful association between STI/HIV-related stigmas and low adherence to routine STI testing (Morris et al., 2014; Hull et al., 2017). These studies also show that healthcare workers help to facilitate a culture of stigmas among coworkers and patients. According to a national survey, only 16.6% of women and 6.1% of men who participated in the survey had been tested in the last 12 months (Cuffe et al., 2016). Low rates of STI testing contribute to the spread of chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV, and syphilis (Big-Ideas-HIV-STIs.pdf, n.d.). The motivation for this literature review is to examine how STI and HIV-related stigmas influence sexual health seeking behaviors and sexual health outcomes for patients aged 18 to 24. This paper also examines how healthcare providers and clinicians perpetuate stigmas among patient populations and what kinds of sex education programming have been effective in improving sexual health behavior.