D.C. teens offered STD tests

    Washington, D.C., is planning to offer free STD tests to high school students.





    Washington, D.C., is planning to offer free STD tests to high school students.
    As part of the program, students must go to a lecture on sexually transmitted diseases before they are asked to provide a urine sample for testing,
    WJLA reports. However, the teens do have the option of not taking the test.
    A recent survey showed that about 60 percent of high schoolers in the D.C. are participating in sexual activities. Now, many students are voicing their support for what some may view as a controversial program. 
    "More stuff [is] going around now especially with teenagers," said Cardozo High School student Tiara Barnes.
    "You never know what people have and they could have sexual intercourse with different people and they might not tell their partner what they have," another student, El’Andra Butts, added.
    Some residents are also backing the initiative.
    "If more schools have it, I think the kids would be less inclined to go out and do things." Art Clark told WJLA. "I think it’s a good idea."
    The free tests are part of an effort to fight the spread of HIV and AIDS in the District. At 3 percent of residents testing positive for the diseases, D.C. currently has the country’s highest infection rate. It’s so bad that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is calling this an epidemic.
    This is the second year that the tests are being offered for free. Last year 3,000 students from eight different schools participated in a pilot of the program. As a result, it was found that 13 percent of those teens had an STD; most of them were suffering from chlamydia or gonorrhea.



    – Sonya Eskridge




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