Teen Sex and Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Truth or Consequences

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What teens say about their sex lives may not always be true and could jeopardize their health. Researchers have found inconsistencies between self-reported behaviors and laboratory-confirmed STD results.

The National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health surveyed more than 14,000 young people about their sexual activity. After completing the survey, they all submitted a urine sample to researchers. The results are astounding.

More than 10 percent of teens who tested positive for STD’s reported abstaining from sex during the 12 months before the survey. That’s about 1,400 kids who are sick and don’t know or are in denial.

Researchers say there’s only a slight possibility that some of these kids may have carried infections for more than a year. They also concede that some teens might have simply forgotten about their sexual encounters.

The study, published in Pediatrics, recommends routine STD screening for teens, even if they say they’ve been abstinent.

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