Patterns in Receipt and Source of STI Testing Among Young People in the United States, 2013–2019

Zoe H. Pleasure , Guttmacher Institute Laura D. Lindberg Jennifer Mueller, Guttmacher Institute Jennifer J. Frost, Guttmacher Institute

First published on Journal of Adolescent Health:

Abstract / Summary

Purpose

Rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) among adolescents and young adults (15–24) continue to increase. Limited national information exists about the frequency and source of STI testing among this population.

Methods

We performed a cross-sectional analysis of National Survey of Family Growth data from 2013–2019 to describe patterns in STI testing and assess associations with individual characteristics.

Results

We found that non-Hispanic Black women, non-Hispanic Black and Hispanic men, and individuals with public insurance are more likely to receive an STI test. The two sexes have different sources of care for STI testing and publicly supported providers provide the bulk of services to marginalized populations.

Discussion

STI testing frequencies of this age group fall below what national guidelines suggest. Multiple socioecological factors may affect the likelihood that a young person receives an STI test. All providers should be supported and encouraged to provide confidential and unbiased STI care.