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Lack of STD testing leads to rise in cases among teens

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Rates of STD infection are rising across all demographics, but the most troubling numbers are found among middle school-aged children, which public health officials say are going up at "frightening" rates.

Statistics from STD testing done by the Missouri Department of Health, for example, showed that cases of STD infection in 10- to 14-year-olds went up from 30 in 2004-05, to 57 in 2008-09.

Kimberly Wright, of Missouri's Regional Aids Interfaith Network, told the Columbia Tribune that budget cuts have hampered her organization's educational efforts, which included programs to provide free STD testing. She said these budget cuts may be playing a role in the rise in infections among teens.

"That is just staggeringly frightening to us, that we had 57 cases in two years," she told the news source. "That’s very young to be dealing with sex, much less to be dealing with STDs."

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that STD testing is one of the most important things individuals can do to help stop the spread of infections.

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