Compared with their cisgender peers, gender-diverse teens are more likely to report sexual behaviors that put them at risk for HIV and other sexual health concerns, including the use of drugs or alcohol prior to sex, MedPage Today reports.
Brianna S. McMichael, MSN, MPH, of Children’s Minnesota in Minneapolis, conducted a survey of 411 teenagers who came into two emergency departments in the Midwestern city. She presented findings from the study at the American Academy of Pediatrics virtual meeting.
The study recruited young people 12 to 18 years old and provided them with an iPad on which to complete a survey while their parents stepped out of the room. Young people who came to the emergency department for mental health reasons or who were considered at risk for suicide were excluded.
Fifteen percent of the cohort identified as gender diverse—genderqueer, gender fluid or transgender. This high proportion is likely the result of Children’s Minnesota’s establishment of a multidisciplinary clinic that serves the needs of this population.
Twenty-three percent of the gender-diverse youth and 21% of the cisgender young people reported being sexually active. Of those who reported having sex, a respective 36% and 4.6% of each group reported using alcohol or drugs before having sex, a respective 21% and 6.2% reported not having discussed sexually transmitted infections with partners and a respective 50% and 79% reported not having discussed pregnancy prevention with partners.
Twenty-six percent of the gender-diverse youth reported being depressed for at least half the days during the previous two weeks, compared with 13% of the cisgender young people. A respective 23% and 9.1% of each group reported having tried smoking.
To read the MedPage Today article, click here.