Lower Use of STD Services in Young Adults Due to Confidentiality Issues

HealthDay News — For adolescents and young adults, confidentiality-related concerns are associated with less use of sexually transmitted disease (STD) services, according to a report published in the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Jami S. Leichliter, PhD, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined use of STD services and confidentiality-related issues among persons aged 15 to 25 years using data from the 2013 to 2015 National Survey of Family Growth.

The researchers found that 12.7% of sexually experienced youths on their parent’s insurance plan would not seek sexual and reproductive health care due to concerns that their parents might find out. Those aged 15 to 17 years were particularly concerned (22.6%). Compared to females without concerns, those with confidentiality concerns regarding seeking sexual and reproductive health care reported a lower prevalence of receipt of chlamydia screening (17.1% vs 38.7%). Compared to adolescents aged 15 to 17 years who did not spend time alone with a health care provider (without a parent in the room), those who did spend time alone reported higher receipt of a sexual risk assessment (71.1% vs 36.6%), and, among females, chlamydia testing (34.0% vs 14.9%).

“The results indicated that confidentiality-related issues were associated with less reported use of some STD services, especially for younger persons and females,” the researchers write.

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Leichliter JS, Copen C, Dittus PJ. Confidentiality issues and use of sexually transmitted disease services among sexually experienced persons aged 15-25 years — United States, 2013-2015MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2017;66:237-241. doi: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6609a1