Sexually Active Boys STD, HIV Unaware

BALTIMORE, April 16 (UPI) — Boys engaged in high-risk sexual behaviors get little counseling about HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, U.S. researchers said.

Lead investigator Dr. Arik Marcell, a pediatrician at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, and colleagues analyzed data from the 1995 National Survey of Adolescent Males and the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth.

The study, published online ahead of print in the Journal of Adolescent Health, found 26 percent of the male teens who reported high-risk sex — sex with a prostitute, sex with a human immunodeficiency virus-infected person, or sex while drinking or taking drugs — said they received STD counseling at the doctor’s office.

In addition, 21 percent of all sexually active boys said they discussed STDs and HIV with their doctors, the study said.

“If guidelines alone can’t change what is being done at the doctor’s office, then the million-dollar question becomes how to get doctors and nurses to talk with their patients about sexual health,” Marcell said in a statement.

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