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.
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- 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.
- United States: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming