News Update: Sexually transmitted infections occur shortly after first intercourse in urban adolescent girls

January 1, 2010

Among urban adolescent girls, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) often occur soon after the first occurrence of sexual intercourse.

Among urban adolescent girls, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) often occur soon after the first occurrence of sexual intercourse.

In an observational study from the December 2009 issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 386 urban girls aged 14 to 17 years were assessed for their age at first intercourse, interval between first intercourse and STI diagnosis (including Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and Trichomonas vaginalis), interval between repeated STIs, and age at first STI test before study participation. The median interval between the first occurrence of intercourse and first STI diagnosis was 2 years. One quarter of patients had acquired their first STI (most commonly C trachomatis) by the age of 15 years, and one quarter of patients had their first C trachomatis infection within 1 year of the first occurrence of intercourse. Patients who began having sex at a younger age were more likely to experience a delay in STI testing.

The authors suggested that STI screening for urban adolescent girls should begin within a year after the first occurrence of intercourse.