Pandemic and STIs


Anchor lead: How has the pandemic complicated rates of sexually transmitted infections among teens? Elizabeth Tracey reports

While one-quarter of a nationally representative sample of teenagers said they were sexually active, fewer than one in ten said they used condoms while having sex, a CDC study finds. Maria Trent, director of adolescent medicine at Johns Hopkins, says the pandemic has complicated this issue for parents.

Trent: We still have to do the hard work of preparing them to make good decisions when they’re not with us, and that means we have to talk about sex, talk about condoms. For some people condoms may seem like a luxury. And so I think we have to really think about preparing young people to have what they need, but also to think about parents who may be struggling now, how are they going to give them those resources? I think it may be hard for families to purchase the supplies now.   :25

Trent notes that just like pediatrics practices, those that focus on adolescents also recognize and integrate the central role families play in their health. She urges parents to identify their needs and ask for help from their children’s providers, as they are often an excellent source for referral. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.