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KUSA- Can 'liking' a Facebook page help stop the spread of sexually-transmitted infections? According to one study, the answer is yes.

The study shows that sexually-transmitted infection prevention messages on Facebook can be effective in promoting condom use among young adults in the short term.

The study was lead by Sheana S. Bull, PhD, MPH, of the Department of Community and Behavioral Health at the Colorado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO. It's published in the November issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

"The use of social media to influence sexual risk behavior in the short term is novel. It is a first step in considering how to reach the overwhelming numbers of youth online, and how to maximize approaches to technology-based interventions," Dr. Bull told the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Participants and those recruited for the study were randomly assigned to either an intervention group or a control group. The intervention group signed up to "Like" and receive news from Just/Us, a Facebook community developed to promote sexual health. The control page was called "18-24 News," and shared news that happened during the hours of 6 pm to midnight on the 24 hour clock that was of interest to 18- 24 year olds.

The study found that 68% of the Just/Us group reported using a condom during
the last sex act, versus 56% of the controls, and the proportion of sex acts protected by condom use in the last 60 days was 63% for the Just/Us group versus 57% for controls.

Dr. Bull stopped by the 9NEWS Studios to talk more in detail about how the study worked. Click on the attached video to hear from her.