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Many youths who end up in juvenile detention centers often come have a history of poor access to healthcare. Institutions may benefit from administering STD tests to these individuals, as many report high rates of infection.
For example, officials from the Youth Guidance Center, San Francisco's juvenile detention center, recently told the Bay Citizen that youths at their facility are testing positive for STD infections at a rate that is five times higher than the general population.
"They have so many conflicting problems in their lives," Deb Levine, executive director of Internet Sexuality Information Services, told the news source. "If you talk to them about chlamydia, it's not a priority. Their priorities are jobs, food and safety. It's the poverty and economic cycle they're stuck in."
However, as city and state officials work to tighten their budgets, public programs for providing STD testing are going by the wayside.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that testing is one of the most effective approaches for curbing the spread of infections.
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