Sexually transmitted diseases are a critical public health concern, and adolescents are at particular risk. The pediatrician must play a primary role in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of STDs. Anticipatory guidance for all youth and explicit education on safer sex practices for sexually active adolescents are central principles for office management. Adolescents should be counseled that abstinence from sexual intercourse is the most effective way to prevent STDs. The importance of barrier contraceptives (eg, latex condoms) in the reduction of HIV transmission cannot be overemphasized. Physicians should actively promote condom use in their sexually active patients, not only for AIDS prevention but for prevention of all STDs and unintended pregnancy. Pediatricians should be active participants in collaborative community-based approaches to promote responsible sexual behavior and healthy life-style choices for all youth.
- Copyright © 1994 by the American Academy of Pediatrics