These 6 Questions Could Reveal Your STD Risk

by Dr Jonathan D'Souza

Most people shy away from the idea of taking a sexually transmitted disease (STD) test; but that doesn't mean that they aren't at risk of it. This is why researchers at Johns Hopkins School Of Medicine thought of devising a questionnaire that would make it easier for people to determine their risk of having an STD.

The quiz consists of the following questions.

  • Are you 25 years old or under?
  • How many sex partners have you had in the past 90 days?
  • Do you have more than one sex partner at the present time?
  • Have you had either (or both) a new sexual partner or multiple sexual partners in the last 90 days?
  • Have you ever been told you had or been treated for a sexually transmitted infection in the past?
  • Do you use a condom when having sex?

These questions are not uncommon. They are the kind of questions a doctor would ask when a patient would come for a routine checkup and decide to be tested for STDs. Each question has specific points attached to its answer. Higher points indicate an increased risk of STDs. The full scoring system hasn't been made public yet since the scoring system and the quiz is till being fine-tuned by researchers. However, the quiz has been in development over the last few years, as the researchers wanted to gauge its accuracy in predicting STDs.

According to a study published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections, the quiz was tested on 836 women and 558 men in their early 20s.

The study showed that women with a high-risk score were four times more likely to have an STD, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia or trichomoniasis. The answer to why women are more likely to get an STD than men is based on biology. The cells found in a woman's cervix make her more susceptible t certain STDs such as chlamydia.

While the question on the age of a person may seem arbitrary, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that 15- to 24-year-olds account for half of all new STD cases, even though they consist of only a quarter of the sexually active population.

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