Risky sexual behavior among young adults constitutes a serious problem nowadays. The reason is that it creates substantial health threats for these individuals as well as for society in general. Moreover, risky sexual behavior is often associated with other socially dangerous aspects such as alcohol consumption (Yoruk & York, 2013). Therefore, complementary risks should also be addressed properly. This paper presents a strategic plan for addressing the problem of risky sexual behavior among young adults at the community level. The major focus is on the Antelope Valley Women’s Clinic in Lancaster, California. The specific objectives will be formulated. The proper realization of the strategic plan will allow decreasing the scope of the problem to the acceptable level.
The recent research shows that the prevalence of risky sexual behavior among young adults in the US is high, especially in comparison with other developed countries. At the same time, the general rates of sexual activity among young people tend to decline as well as the contraceptive use tends to increase. However, the risks of HIV and sexually transmitted infections exceed the average level of other industrialized countries. The rates of involuntary sexual activity are also above the acceptable level. Although it is difficult to determine the precise costs for society, the recent estimations show that the current risky sexual behavior among young adults in the US creates costs of around $3.5 billion annually (IAFF, n.d.). Thus, the scope of the problem is such that it is reasonable to devote substantial social and economic resources to this sphere in order to create the proper stimuli for young people to reconsider their sexual behavior.
However, the current state of affairs proves that the situation cannot improve automatically and requires well-developed advanced practice roles and management strategies. It seems that advanced practice nurses play a crucial role in this process from several perspectives. On the one hand, they provide primary and acute care for young adults with health problems emerged due to their risky sexual behavior. On the other hand, they communicate with the community in general and inform its members about the major current risks and potential threats (Shahnazi, Forouzan, Nedjat, Asgari, & Majdzadeh, 2013). Thus, nurses may promote young people’s responsibility and the objective assessment of corresponding health risks associated with different modes of behavior. Effective nurses have a substantial influence on the population’s perception of various risks and may affect the behavior strategies of individuals.
However, in the majority of cases, complex management strategies are needed for initiating changes and controlling the rates of their implementation. First, it is necessary to examine the current trends associated with risky sexual behavior among young adults in the US. Some of them, such as the general reduction of sexual activity and wider use of contraceptives, are positive while others, namely the declining average age of sexual activity as well as the systematic exceeding of risky behavior among young people in comparison with the average level in developed countries, are negative. Second, the underlying factors contributing to the occurrence of risky behavior should be identified; for example, the underestimating of the seriousness of related risks (Yoruk & York, 2013). Third, the number of resources directed to this sphere should be determined. It may be proportional to the number of potential losses that can be avoided if the program is implemented correctly. Fourth, the process of reforms should be controlled closely, and the ultimate results should be assessed objectively (Shahnazi et al., 2013). If their actual level is below the target one, the problems should be identified, and corresponding lessons should be taken.
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It seems that several communities and social resources affect the issue of risky sexual behavior. The positive impact is observed from the well-developed structure of healthcare organizations that may provide timely care and assistance. Consequently, the negative impact on young people’s health can be minimized effectively. In addition, it may decrease their responsibility as high-quality healthcare services minimize the likelihood of serious health effects even if highly risky sexual behavior is adopted. Additional negative effects may exist due to the well-developed entertainment sphere that promotes irresponsibility and following one’s impulses and emotions. As many young adults are highly responsive to such advertising messages, they may adopt incorrect modes of behavior. For this reason, nurses should pay the majority of attention to information campaigns when affecting the community.
In general, substantial changes and enhancements in community services are observed in relation to this topic. On the one hand, the general level of community threats remains very high as young adults in the US are involved in risky sexual behavior more actively than in other countries. Correspondingly, the amount of aggregate social costs that should be suffered due to this problem tends to increase rapidly. On the other hand, nurses and other professionals increase their qualification and are able to provide better and timely services to young adults. Thus, both the scope of the problem and the effectiveness of response strategies tend to increase. However, it is not an optimal situation as it is necessary to achieve a substantial reduction of the problem in order to promote the health standards of the entire community.
For this reason, the following strategic plan can be presented. It will allow decreasing the prevalence of risky sexual behavior among young adults in the US considerably. This plan will be implemented in the Antelope Valley Women’s Clinic in Lancaster, California. The key goal is reducing the number of women aged 16-24 infected with Chlamydia by 10% in 6 months. Currently, this rate is around 30%, and it is very high and creates substantial problems for the local community (Jackson, Henderson, Frank, & Haw, 2012). First, it is necessary to assess the existing structure of women infected with Chlamydia. It is reasonable to examine the relationships between the number of infected women and their age on the one hand and the cultural diversity on the other hand. As different cultural groups may require different strategies, they should be examined separately.
After the pre-evaluation, it is possible to start the plan implementation. The first element of the plan is delivering well-organized primary prevention activities. They include condom provision for young adults in Lancaster, California, and promoting safer sexual behavior. In order to maximize the effectiveness of this stage, nurses should not only provide objective statistical information but also focus on the specific health problems that may be experienced by infected women. The cultural adjustments are also necessary. The structure of messages should correspond to the needs and preferences of a given audience. Thus, they can be effective and contribute to reconsidering their behavior by young women.
The second element is promoting the innovative case management of persons with Chlamydia through the healthcare system available in the Antelope Valley Women’s Clinic in Lancaster, California. The Clinic possesses all necessary innovative technologies that may be adjusted to the needs of different individuals. The care also includes several elements. The first-level health care relies on simple algorithms that are almost universal and enable normalizing people’s health. Higher levels of health care may also be used dealing with specific symptoms associated with Chlamydia of a given person as well as addressing the corresponding psychological concerns and problems (Chambers & Rodgers, 2013). The correct and precise syndrome diagnosis is crucial for initiating effective interventions at this stage.
The third element includes Chlamydia prevention and providing additional care services in maternal care. The nurses from the Antelope Valley Women’s Clinic should explain the major risk factors for young women as well as advocate the reliable contraception methods that may minimize the risks of being infected with Chlamydia. At this stage, nurses should perform several informative functions simultaneously. On the one hand, they should explain the seriousness of the problem to young women and the substantial negative effects of Chlamydia. On the other hand, they should demonstrate potential solutions immediately. It is highly important for young people as their analytical abilities are not always well-developed, and they require a clear rationale for potential solutions to all actual or potential problems.
Maternal care requires additional attention as in this case, the interests of the young woman should be balanced with those of her child. Although mothers typically possess higher responsibility, nurses should address their needs from various perspectives. It is especially important to specify their long-term needs and develop concrete steps that may contribute to their satisfaction to the maximum possible degree (Chambers & Rodgers, 2013). Nurses and the Clinic may also provide family planning services to assist young parents with balancing their interests and integrating all aspects of the family life into a single and coherent system.
The fourth element is developing innovative care services for all women aged 16-24 from Lancaster, California. It means that nurses should expand the area of their operations to all women who are subject to Chlamydia-related potential threats. The issue of HIV risks should also occupy a considerable fraction in nurses’ initiatives (Morales-Mesa, Arboleda-?lvarez, & Segura-Cardona, 2014). As risky sexual behavior may lead not only to STDs but also to HIV, all the issues should be comprehended by young women, and corresponding conclusions should be made (Jackson et al., 2012). It is necessary to ensure that the conclusions and views are not imposed by nurses and other professionals but are the result of women’s voluntary choices and comprehension of the need for leading responsible lives in all spheres, including the sexual one.
The final element of the plan is promoting early health care-seeking behavior and developing education programs oriented to different cultural groups present in Lancaster, California. Nurses should explain all innovative opportunities present in the Antelope Valley Women’s Clinic and the way they can be used for assisting people with Chlamydia. Young women should realize that the time aspect is crucial when dealing with STDs (Shahnazi et al., 2013). Therefore, the timely application for healthcare assistance may minimize the overall negative effects on women’s health.
Although different characteristic features should be considered while examining the needs of various groups, it seems that the racial factor should not be neglected. It is reasonable to create several control groups presenting White Americans, African Americans, and other minority groups. The scope of the problem with Chlamydia infection may be known from the general social statistics (MacLean, Shishkoff, & Wilson, 2015). For this reason, nurses from the Clinic should be mostly concerned with the response strategies demonstrated by different racial groups. It may be expected that substantial differences may be observed in this context. The same education and other strategies may demonstrate different effects among different racial groups. Nurses should be able to understand the essence of these differences and select the most appropriate strategies for every group.
The effectiveness of this strategic plan should be accessed by comparing the previous rate of women infected with Chlamydia (around 30%) with that generated with the implementation of the plan. If the new rate is below the previous one for 10% or more, it can be considered effective. If no substantial reduction occurs, the plan is ineffective, and it should be revised (MacLean et al., 2015). In any case, it is reasonable to consider not only the general dynamics of women infected with Chlamydia but also that among all major racial and cultural groups. Most probably, the reduction will not be uniform among different groups. In this way, the major problems can be identified, and the plan can be adjusted accordingly. Thus, even if the general implementation of the plan is successful, numerous spheres for its improvement can be identified.
It may be concluded that risky sexual behavior constitutes a serious problem in the US as it is more widespread in comparison with other developed countries. Although the current general trend demonstrates the gradual diminishing of young adults’ involvement in such behavior, the successful solution of the problem requires developing the complex health care plan. The proposed strategic plan for the Antelope Valley Women’s Clinic in Lancaster, California, consists of five major elements. It demonstrates the way responsible sexual behavior should be promoted. The strategies for syndrome diagnosis and information campaigns are presented. In particular, nurses should promote responsibility among all groups and provide specific solutions regarding balancing the short- and long-term goals of patients. Promoting early care and the awareness of HIV risks are also among the major priorities. The rates of Chlamydia spreading among young women should be assessed after the implementation of the plan. If it is below the initial level of 30% by around 10%, the plan may be considered effective. It is also necessary to ensure that the positive dynamics occurs among all major cultural and racial groups. The adjustments to the needs of every group are crucial for the community’s sustainable development.