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Keywords

Adolescent, Sexual risk behavior, Sexually transmitted diseases, Treatment guidelines

 

Authors

  1. Feroli, Kathleen L. MS, RN, CPNP
  2. Burstein, Gale R. MD, MPH

ABSTRACT

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a major health problem among adolescents. In 2000, adolescent females 15 to 19 years old had the highest reported rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea. Adolescent biologic, cognitive, social, and behavioral developmental circumstances contribute to the high rate of adolescent STDs. New sensitive and noninvasive STD tests greatly improve our ability to diagnose asymptomatic infections. In May 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published revised guidelines for the treatment of STDs. The CDC's Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Guidelines 2002 is based on evidence from published literature and expert opinion. In this article, we review selected new recommendations that impact adolescent STD care. Providing care to adolescents can be a challenging but rewarding experience for primary care pediatric nurse practitioners. Nurses can be instrumental in reducing STD prevalence through screening interventions, prevention counseling, and health education.