Associations between sexually transmitted disease diagnosis and subsequent sexual risk and sexually transmitted disease incidence among adolescents

Sex Transm Dis. 2004 Apr;31(4):205-8. doi: 10.1097/01.olq.0000114940.07793.20.


Background: Empiric evidence is lacking in regard to the subsequent sexually transmitted disease (STD)-associated risk behaviors of adolescents diagnosed and treated for an STD.

Goal: The goal of this study was to prospectively identify associations between STD diagnosis and subsequent sexual risk and STD incidence among a sample of U.S. adolescents.

Study design: A cohort of 455 adolescents (age 15-21 years) was followed for 3 months. Adolescents were recruited from primary care clinics and through outreach activities.

Results: A total of 10.8% were initially diagnosed with at least one STD. After adjusting for observed covariates, these adolescents (compared with those testing negative) were 2.8 times (P = 0.0001) more likely to be abstinent from sex and 2.2 times more likely to report always using condoms (P = 0.04). However, during the ensuing 3 months, they were approximately 2.4 times more likely to report having sex with multiple partners (P = 0.01), 8.9 times more likely to test positive for trichomonas (P = 0.009), and 3.0 times more likely to test positive for chlamydia (P = 0.04).

Conclusions: Compared with those testing negative, adolescents diagnosed with an STD may subsequently adopt safer sex behaviors, including abstinence. However, perhaps in part as a result of having sex with multiple partners, they might fail to practice safer sex behaviors stringently enough to avoid subsequent STD acquisition.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior*
  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Georgia / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Prospective Studies
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Rhode Island / epidemiology
  • Sexual Behavior*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / etiology
  • Surveys and Questionnaires