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Survey: Many Young Women Lack Accurate Information about STDs
Date:5/21/2010

Dr. Heather Royer, a University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing researcher, surveyed 302 women, 18 to 24 years old, about their beliefs about STD testing.

Madison, WI (Vocus) May 21, 2010 -- Can stigmas about testing hinder the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and screening among young women?

“Based on my clinical experience and now by the results of this study, it’s clear many women have significant misconceptions about STDs and STD testing,” says Dr. Heather Royer, a University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Nursing researcher who recently completed a study of young women’s knowledge and beliefs about STDs. ''Those beliefs may influence continued disease transmission.''

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four young women is infected with at least one of the four most common STDS affecting women -- human papillomavirus (HPV), Chlamydia, genital herpes, and trichomoniasis. About 19 million new sexually transmitted infections occur each year among all age groups in the United States while half of these infections occur in the 18-to-24 age group.

Royer surveyed 302 women, 18 to 24 years old, about their beliefs about STD testing. She found barriers to testing that include:

 
  • The great majority of women (88 percent) were uncomfortable being tested by a male.
  • Most women (79 percent) would prefer being tested by a specialist,
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