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Sex Transm Dis. 2005 Jun;32(6):358-63.

Sexual abuse history, risk behavior, and sexually transmitted diseases: the impact of age at abuse.

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Center for Adolescent Health and Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455, USA.



The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between age at onset of sexual abuse, risk behaviors, and a diagnosis of sexually transmitted disease (STD) in a clinic-attending adolescent population.


Bivariate analyses were used to test association among age at onset of sexual abuse, risk behaviors, and STD diagnosis (n = 2175). Relationship between sexual abuse and STD acquisition was assessed by regression analysis.


More females than males reported sexual abuse, 26.75% and 5.4%, respectively. Abuse at or before 10 years of age was associated with more lifetime and recent partners. History of abuse was associated with higher rates of STD tests. In regression analysis, for males and females, the odds of having an STD were 2.5 times greater if abuse occurred at 10 years or younger.


Sexual abuse at a younger age is associated with more sexual risk behaviors and is a risk factor for STDs.

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