Bullied LGBT youth have higher risk of contracting STDs, study shows
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Individuals who experience bullying in school based on their sexual identity may be more likely to contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or engage in behaviors that put them at risk for HIV infection, compared to their peers who do not endure victimization due to their sexuality, according to a recent study published in the Journal of School Health.
The study's findings showed that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) adolescents who were bullied by their classmates in middle or high school were two times more likely than other students to be diagnosed with an STD by the age of 25.
Moreover, the victimized young adults were more likely to report that they engaged in high-risk behaviors for HIV infection, such as unprotected sex or intercourse with multiple partners.
"We now have evidence of the lasting personal and social cost of failing to make our schools safe for all students. Prior studies have shown that school victimization of LGBT adolescents affects their health and mental health. In our study we see the effects of school victimization up to a decade later or more," said lead researcher Stephen T. Russell.
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