Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Pediatrics. 2010 Jul;126(1):e97-e103. doi: 10.1542/peds.2009-2424. Epub 2010 Jun 14.

Laboratory-diagnosed sexually transmitted infections in former foster youth compared with peers.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington/Seattle Children's Hospital, Seattle, WA 98101, USA.



The objective of this study was to evaluate the association between having resided in foster care and risk for sexually transmitted infection (STI) during young adulthood.


Multiple regression analyses were performed by using Waves I to III of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (1994-2002) to evaluate the association between foster care status and STI biomarkers and risk behaviors. Female (N = 7563) and male participants (N = 6759) were evaluated separately. Covariates in all models included baseline age, race, ethnicity, parental education level, parental income level, and average neighborhood household income level.


Female participants who had been in foster care were more likely to have Trichomonas (odds ratio [OR]: 3.23 [95% confidence interval (CI): 1.45-7.23) but not gonorrhea or chlamydia and reported increased sexual risk behaviors compared with nonfostered peers. Male participants who had been in foster care were more likely to have both gonorrhea (OR: 14.28 [95% CI: 2.07-98.28]) and chlamydia (OR: 3.07 [95% CI: 1.36-6.96]) but not Trichomonas and did not report a higher risk for most sexual risk behaviors than nonfostered peers.


Results suggest that individuals who have been in foster care are at increased risk for STIs during young adulthood. The pattern of exposure may differ between male and female individuals. If findings are confirmed, they suggest that health care providers who work with these youth should adjust their STI screening practices. Child welfare agencies should also consider targeted interventions to reduce STI risk in this population.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center