DC High Schools To Offer STD Testing

13 percent of 3,000 students tested positive

Books? Check.

New clothes? Check.

STD test? Check?

When D.C. high school students head back to class for a new school year, they will have the option of getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases.  And this is one test they'll definitely want to pass, not fail.

The school system plans to expand a pilot program that began last year and found large numbers of infected students.

The program was in place at eight high schools and found that 13 percent of about 3,000 students tested positive for an STD. Most of the children were infected with gonorrhea or chlamydia.

The program requires students to attend a lecture about STDs. Students are then invited to provide a urine sample, but they're allowed to say no.

The D.C. Appleseed Center for Law and Justice is hailing the testing program as a positive step in the city's efforts to reduce its AIDS rate, which is the highest in the nation. D.C. Appleseed advocates for increased AIDS outreach and education in schools.

Why are the tests needed? D.C. students are getting a lot farther than just first base.

According to the Washington Post article, a 2007 study by the school system showed that 60 percent of high school students and 30 percent of middle school students said they had intercourse. The study also showed that 20 percent of the high school students said they had had sex with four or more partners, and 12 percent of the middle school students said they had had three or more partners.

We don't know about you, but when we were in middle school we were busy playing Nintendo.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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