Abstinent Teens Test Positive for STDs, Study Says

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Although they may not have been having sex, a new study in Pediatrics says that over 10 percent of teens who said they were abstinent also tested positive for a sexually transmitted disease, reports the Washington Post.

The study involved data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health. In one case, researchers took urine samples from 14,000 teens to check for gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis. In this group, 3,000 teens said they had not had sex in the last 12 months.
The results: 964 people came back with positive STD test results, and although a majority of them occurred in those who had had sex in the last year, 118 teens tested positive for STDs despite denying having had sexual intercourse in that time. In fact, 60 of these teens said they were virgins.

So what does this mean? Study author Jessica McDermott Sales, who is also a research assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at Emory University, thinks that teens should be tested for STDs regardless of what they say about their sexual pasts.

"These infections can have some pretty major consequences for young people," she said. "It's worth the urine test."

What do you think about the study's findings? Should teens be given standard STD screenings by their doctors? %Poll-58516%


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