Treatment News : Physicians Rarely Test Teens for HIV and STIs

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May 8, 2013

Physicians Rarely Test Teens for HIV and STIs

While guidelines recommend American teenagers receive universal testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), care providers screen adolescents less than 3 percent of the time, MedPage Today reports. Rachel Witt, a student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, presented the results of her team’s study at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting.

This retrospective, cross-sectional study looked at 1,000 people 13 to 19 years old drawn randomly from a pool of 40,000 routine visits to 29 primary care physicians affiliated with a pediatric hospital.

The study found that just 2.9 percent of the group received a gonorrhea and chlamydia test and 1.6 percent an HIV test.

The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force recently updated its testing recommendations to advise all individuals 15 to 65 years old to get an HIV test, regardless of risk factors. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that those as young as 13 should begin testing for the virus. The CDC advises sexually active women younger than 25 and young adult men to screen for gonorrhea and chlamydia each year.

The study’s analysis found that the medical charts of about four in five adolescents included no documentation about their sexual history.

Search: HIV, sexually transmitted infections, STI, testing, teenagers, adolescents, MedPage Today, Rachel Witt, CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Preventative Services Task Force.

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