Minors’ Access to STI Services

Background

Background

Over the past 30 years, states have expanded minors’ authority to consent to health care, including care related to sexual activity. All 50 states and the District of Columbia allow most minors to consent to testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and many explicitly include testing and treatment of HIV. Many states, however, allow physicians to inform parents that a minor is seeking or receiving STI services when they deem it in the best interests of the young person.

Visit our state legislation tracker for policy activity on all sexual and reproductive health topics.

Highlights

  • All 50 states and the District of Columbia explicitly allow minors to consent to STI services, although 11 states require minors to be a certain age (generally 12 or 14) before being allowed to consent.
  • 32 states explicitly include HIV testing and treatment in the package of STI services to which minors may consent; many of these laws only apply to HIV testing.
  • 18 states allow physicians to inform a minor’s parents that the young person is seeking or receiving STI services; however, with the exception of 1 state that requires parental notification in the case of a positive HIV test, no state requires that physicians notify parents about services.
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Minors' Access to STI Services

STATE

MINORS MAY CONSENT TO STI SERVICES

CONSENT TO HIV TESTING AND TREATMENT INCLUDED

PHYSICIAN MAY BUT IS NOT REQUIRED TO INFORM PARENTS

Alabama

12 years

X

X

Alaska

X

 

 

Arizona

X

 

 

Arkansas

X

 

X

California

12 years

X

 

Colorado

13 years

X*

 

Connecticut

X†​

X

 

Delaware

12 years

X

X

Dist. of Columbia

X

 

 

Florida

X

X

 

Georgia

X

 X

X

Hawaii

14 years

 

X

Idaho

14 years

X

 

Illinois

12 years

X

X

Indiana

X

 

 

Iowa

X

X‡​

 

Kansas

X

 

X

Kentucky

X

X

X

Louisiana

X

 

X

Maine

X

 

X

Maryland

X

 

X

Massachusetts

XΩ,Ф

 

 

Michigan

X

X

X

Minnesota

X

 

X

Mississippi

X

XΨ​

 

Missouri

X

 

X

Montana

X

X

X

Nebraska

X

 

 

Nevada

X

X

 

New Hampshire

14 years

 

 

New Jersey

X

13 years

X

New Mexico

X

XΨ

 

New York

X

XΨ​

 

North Carolina

X

X

 

North Dakota

14 years

X

 

Ohio

X

XΨ

 

Oklahoma

X

X

X

Oregon

X

X

 

Pennsylvania

X

X

 

Rhode Island

X

X

 

South Carolina

16 years or mature minor

X

 

South Dakota

X

 

 

Tennessee

X

X

 

Texas

X

X

X

Utah

X

 

 

Vermont

12 years

XΨ​

 

Virginia

X

X

 

Washington

14 years

X

 

West Virginia

X

 

 

Wisconsin

X

 

 

Wyoming

X

X

 

TOTAL

50 + DC

32

18

*    Physician may inform parents of minor's decision to consent to HIV/AIDS services if the minor is younger than 16.
    Physician must report a positive test result if the minor is younger than 12.
     A parent must be notified of a positive HIV test result.
Ω   The state funds a statewide program that gives minors access to STI services.
Ф   Parent must be notified if the minor's health or life is at risk.
Ψ   Does not include right to consent to HIV/AIDS treatment.