Social determinants and sexually transmitted disease disparities

Sex Transm Dis. 2008 Dec;35(12 Suppl):S13-8. doi: 10.1097/OLQ.0b013e31818d3cad.


Social determinants of health play an important role in sexually transmitted disease (STD) transmission and acquisition; consequently, racial and ethnic disparities among social determinants are influences upon disparities in STD rates. In this narrative review, we outline a general model showing the relationship between social determinants and STD outcomes, mediated by epidemiologic context. We then review 4 specific social determinants relevant to STD disparities: segregation, health care, socioeconomics and correctional experiences, followed by 2 facets of the resultant epidemiologic context: core areas and sexual networks. This review shows that disparities exist among the social determinants and that they are related to each other, as well as to core areas, sexual networks, and STD rates. Finally, we discuss the implications of our review for STD prevention and control with particular attention to STD program collaboration and service integration.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American*
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / ethnology
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Socioeconomic Factors*