DC to Offer STD Tests to All Students

Pilot program found that 13% of youths had chlamydia, gonorrhea
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Aug 5, 2009 1:45 PM CDT
DC high school students will be offered STD testing next year.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – All DC high school students will be offered testing for sexually-transmitted diseases, the Washington Post reports. The move follows a pilot program at eight schools last year in which 13% of 3,000 students tested positive for STDs, mostly chlamydia and gonorrhea. The new plan says students must watch a lecture about STDs, which make sufferers more susceptible to HIV, but can choose not to be tested.

“We have Third World statistics in terms of our HIV issues, and from the HIV perspective, we do need to find a way to identify students so that we can help them,” said an education board member. In the city’s first trial of the program at two schools, 68% of students opted for a test, and the city funded treatment. Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, Baltimore, and New Orleans have or are planning similar programs.