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Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Child Sexual Abuse

NCJ Number
160940
Date Published
Author(s)
Hammerschlag, M. R.
Annotation
This booklet discusses how the presence of a sexually transmitted disease (STD) in a child can be used to assist in identifying or eliminating suspects in child sexual abuse cases.
Abstract
STD's comprise a wide range of infections and conditions that are transmitted mainly by sexual activity. The classic STD's, gonorrhea and syphilis, are now being overshadowed by a new set of STD's that are not only more common, but are also more difficult to diagnose and treat. These new STD's include infections caused by chlamydia trachomatis (chlamydia), human papilloma virus (HPV), bacterial vaginosis (BV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Rapid application of new technology to the diagnosis of STD's has led to a growing array of diagnostic laboratory tests that require critical evaluation by clinicians and a critical review by law enforcement. The discussion first notes that accurate information about STD's in victims of sexual abuse has been hindered by a variety of factors; these factors are identified. Some key facts about STD's are outlined. Some of these facts are the potential for STD's being transmitted during sexual assault, increased risk for STD infection in multiple episodes of sexual abuse, the likelihood that children with STD's will have no physical complaints, and the site of infection being consistent with a child's history of assault. The booklet also explains why the incidence and prevalence of sexual abuse of children is difficult to estimate. A chart provides information on each of a number of STD's. The information for each STD addresses incubation period, clinical manifestations, transmission, and diagnosis. 11 supplemental readings and a list of 18 resource organizations
Date Created: August 13, 2014