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Doctor of Nursing Practice
Family Nurse Practioner
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Month Degree Awarded
HSV-1, oral sex, oral-genital transmission, prevention, education
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Herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1) disease transmission to the genitals has life long health consequences for young women. The aim of this DNP project was to assess knowledge among female college freshmen regarding HSV-1 transmission to the genitals during oral sex.
A voluntary and anonymous online survey was e-mailed to 648 female college freshmen using their college e-mail account. A 19% (N=121) survey response rate was achieved. Seventy-three percent of the college females reported receiving oral sex. Ninety-five percent of the college females knew the possible risk of HSV-1 transmission during oral sex. Ninety-six percent of the female students did not use a barrier device when they received oral sex. None of the females identified themselves as being at high risk for contracting HSV-1 and more than 60% were not concerned about contracting genital HSV-1.
Survey findings were presented to college health services staff through informal discussion and a brief movie. Oral sex and HSV-1 teaching information was also provided to the staff to encourage dialogue between students and providers. Dental dam barriers were left with staff to promote safer oral sex practices among the students. The results of the survey did not demonstrate a knowledge deficit of HSV-1 disease or possible HSV-1 transmission to the genitals during oral sex. However, the survey did reveal gaps in knowledge regarding the students’ own susceptibility to HSV-1 through unprotected oral sex, skin-to-skin transmission risk of HSV-1, and barrier device availability for oral sex.