WASHINGTON – All D.C. high school students will now have the option of getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases.
The school system plans to expand a pilot program that began last year and found large numbers of infected students.
The program was in place at eight high schools and found that 13 percent of about 3,000 students tested positive for an STD. Most of the children were infected with gonorrhea or chlamydia.
The program requires students to attend a lecture about STDs. Students are then invited to provide a urine sample, but they're allowed to say no.
The D.C. Appleseed Center for Law and Justice is hailing the testing program as a positive step in the city's efforts to reduce its AIDS rate, which is the highest in the nation. D.C. Appleseed advocates for increased AIDS outreach and education in schools.