Editorial Commends Washington D.C.’s STD Testing Initiative In High Schools
"The statistics behind" Washington D.C.'s expanded effort to offer voluntarily, confidential testing for sexually transmitted diseases in high schools "show why it is necessary," a Washington Post editorial states. "Of the 3,000 students at eight high schools tested in a pilot program last year, 13 percent tested positive for an STD, usually gonorrhea or chlamydia," adding, "Even more alarming, students with STDs are five times more at risk for contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, which has no cure." The students will not be tested for HIV, the editorial notes. The editorial also discusses the privacy protections of the program, adding that if a student tests positive for an STD, "there will [be] no parental notification because the city's public health law prohibits the department from sharing results with anyone other than the patient. But we hope students and their parents or guardians will talk about the responsibilities and consequences of sexual activity" (8/13).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.