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Screening for Adolescent Sexual Health

If your teenage patient acknowledges sexual activity of any kind, ask:

  • How often do you have sex? When was the first time you had sex?

  • There are many ways of being sexual with another person: petting, kissing, hugging, as well as having sexual intercourse. What kind of sexual experiences have you had with boys or girls or both?

  • How well do you know your sexual partners (friends, anonymous, etc.)?

  • Where were you when you had those sexual encounters?

  • What kinds of protection/safer sex methods do you use?

  • Were the sexual encounters voluntary/consensual, or did you feel pressured or coerced?

  • Has there been an exchange of sex for money or drugs?

  • Do you have any concerns about your sexual feelings or the sexual things you have been doing? Have you discussed these concerns with your parents or any other adults? Any of your friends?

Questions about Sexual Activity

  • When you have sex, do you have sex with men, women, or both?

  • What do you know about the sexual behaviours of your sexual partners?

  • How many sexual partners you have (or ever had)?

  • Are your current sexual partners men, women, or both?

  • In the past, have your sexual partners been men, women, or both?

  • What safer sex methods do you use, if any?

  • Do you want any information about safer sex methods? If yes, safer sex methods with men, women, or both?

  • Are you currently experiencing any sexual problems?

  • Since you have been sexually active recently someone, you should probably have him or her come in to be assessed for Herpes as well.

  • Some men who (are married and) think of themselves as heterosexual occasionally have sex with other men. In order to provide you with proper care, I need to know if you’ve ever (or recently) had sex with men or women other than your wife/spouse/partner?

  • Many women who identify themselves as lesbians occasionally have sex with men. Do you have, or have you ever had, sex with men? It would be important for me to know about this so that I can assess your health accurately.

Screening reminders

  • For lesbian/WSW: ask about concerns for breast cancer and other gynecological cancers;

  • Also advise about Pap tests regardless of the gender of the sexual partners: e.g. HPV is transmissible through sex toys, or from sexual partners who had previous encounters with men