More than 10 percent of teens who said they were abstinent also tested positive for a sexually transmitted disease, says a study in Pediatrics released Monday — a figure public health advocates say justifies screening all teens for such diseases.
Study author Jessica McDermott Sales, a research assistant professor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education at Emory University, said STD screenings should happen, regardless of what they say about their sexual histories.
“These infections can have some pretty major consequences for young people … . It’s worth the urine test,” she said.
The study was based on data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (“Add Health”), which has tracked thousands of teens and young adults for more than a decade.