Talk About STD Testing

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young women asks their nurse or doctor for an STD test.

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Young Women and STDs: Are Physicians Doing Enough to Empower their Patients and Protect their Health?

Less than one in four

About the Quest Diagnostics Talk about STI Testing | 2018 Report
*Research was conducted by Aurora Research & Consulting on behalf of Quest Diagnostics in December, 2017. A total of 4,742 study respondents, comprised of 3,414 young women between the ages of 15-24, of whom 1,500 self-identified as sexually active; 1,016 mothers of young women in that age group; and 312 primary care, OB/GYN and specialty physicians were surveyed. Most clinician survey data presented in this report was of responses of 100 primary care physicians. Each respondent completed 15-30 minute online surveys regarding perceptions and knowledge of STDs and chlamydia and gonorrhea testing. Strengths of the research include the large number of respondents and the research’s national scale, while limitations include self-reported data and a lack of direct comparability between study populations. The 2017 research was complemented by results of a survey of similar cohort of patients and healthcare practitioners performed in 2015. For more information, please refer to www.QuestDiagnostics.com.

Some localities may require reporting to authorities by health care providers where cases of child abuse are suspected.

Sources:
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance, https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats16/default.htm
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats16/adolescents.htm


A Survey of Young Women, Mothers, and Physicians about Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

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About this Report


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are at an all-time high, with more than two million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis reported in the United States in 20161.

Because many cases of STDs go undiagnosed, these statistics may understate STD prevalence in the United States.

While any sexually active individual is at risk of an STD, the youngest are most vulnerable. CDC incidence and prevalence estimates suggest that young people aged 15–24 years acquire half of all new STDs, and that one in four sexually active adolescent females has an STD2.

What beliefs do young women have about sexual health and STDs that might contribute to these troubling rates? Is there an opportunity to communicate and care more effectively for young female patients?

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of adult Americans tested misused their prescription medications, compared to 63% six years ago

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19% of specimens positive for heroin were also positive for
non-prescribed fentanyl

Misuse rates were higher for women and men of
reproductive age (58%). Opioid and benzodiazepine use during pregnancy may increase risk of birth defects

One in three Adolescents
tested showed signs of drug
misuse in 2016, a major
improvement from 70% in 2011.

49%

of young women claim their nurse or doctor has never asked if they want STD testing.

of primary care physicians agree with the statement, "I am very uncomfortable discussing STD risk with my female patients."

24%

7 in 10

Only
primary care physicians said they would order chlamydia or gonorrhea testing for a sexually active, asymptomatic female patient under the age of 25, despite medical recommendations.

Only 7 in 10

primary care physicians said they would order chlamydia or gonorrhea testing for a sexually active, asymptomatic female patient under the age of 25, despite medical recommendations.

Gaps in STD testing persist, despite clear medical guidelines.

Medical guidelines recommend annual laboratory STD screening of sexually active women 25 years of age and younger largely because STDs frequently do not cause symptoms. Yet, a quarter of physicians surveyed make testing decisions for asymptomatic young women based on the presence of symptoms. Making matters worse, young women avoid asking their clinicians to be tested, and they say their doctors aren’t offering to test them.

To answer these questions, Quest Diagnostics commissioned an independent survey of young women (15-24 years) and mothers of women in this age group regarding sexual behavior, sexual health, and knowledge of and screening for STDs.* A separate survey of physicians, primarily in primary care, was also conducted to examine similar issues.

The survey polled young women about chlamydia and gonorrhea specifically because CDC guidelines recommend annual screening for these STDs for all sexually active women under the age of 25 years, yet they continue to be at heightened risk. We also contrasted results of the 2017 survey with one Quest commissioned in 2015 with a similar population.

Download this free report to read more.

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Physicians & STDs

Are We Doing Enough to Protect Women?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are at an all-time high, with more than two million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis reported in the United States in 20161.

Quest Diagnostics commissioned an independent survey of young women (15-24 years) and mothers of women in this age group regarding sexual behavior, sexual health, and knowledge of and screening for STDs.* 

Download this free report to read more.

Gaps in STD testing persist, despite clear medical guidelines.

young women asks their nurse or doctor for an STD test.

of young women claim their nurse or doctor has never asked if they want STD testing.

of primary care physicians agree with the statement, "I am very uncomfortable discussing STD risk with my female patients."

About the Quest Diagnostics Talk about STI Testing | 2018 Report
*Research was conducted by Aurora Research & Consulting on behalf of Quest Diagnostics in December, 2017. A total of 4,742 study respondents, comprised of 3,414 young women between the ages of 15-24, of whom 1,500 self-identified as sexually active; 1,016 mothers of young women in that age group; and 312 primary care, OB/GYN and specialty physicians were surveyed. Most clinician survey data presented in this report was of responses of 100 primary care physicians. Each respondent completed 15-30 minute online surveys regarding perceptions and knowledge of STDs and chlamydia and gonorrhea testing. Strengths of the research include the large number of respondents and the research’s national scale, while limitations include self-reported data and a lack of direct comparability between study populations. The 2017 research was complemented by results of a survey of similar cohort of patients and healthcare practitioners performed in 2015. For more information, please refer to www.QuestDiagnostics.com.

Some localities may require reporting to authorities by health care providers where cases of child abuse are suspected.

Sources:
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016 Sexually Transmitted Diseases Surveillance, https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats16/default.htm
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/std/stats16/adolescents.htm