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Teens and doctors avoid talking about sexual activity

At a time when sexually transmitted diseases are infecting millions of teenagers it has been reported that doctors don’t bother asking them about their sex life. If a doctor does not bring it up during a physical examination neither does the teenager.

Although this could be a way for teenagers to become informed about sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and teen pregnancy if the patient doesn’t ask most doctors don’t offer the information.

According to the U. S. Dept. of Health and Human Services Office of Adolescent Health:

Adolescents ages 15-24 account for nearly half of the 20 million new cases of STD's each year.

Today, four in 10 sexually active teen girls have had an STD that can cause infertility and even death.

Also, though rates of HIV are very low among adolescents, males make up more than two-thirds of HIV diagnoses among 13- to 19-year-olds.

A study led by researchers at Duke University Medical Center recorded conversations between doctors and their teenage patients concluded that physicians are missing an opportunity to educate and counsel adolescents.

As published in in December 2013 JAMA Pediatrics found that less than two thirds of doctors and teenage patients talk about:

  • Healthy sexual behavior
  • Prevention of sexually transmitted infections
  • Unplanned pregnancy

The result is that doctors not talking about sex and sexuality with teenagers could also have huge implications as to whether or not they will have healthy lives as adults.

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