Background/introduction Sexually active young people can be at risk of child sexual exploitation (CSE). It has been assumed that the presence of a sexually transmitted infection (STI) should be used a marker of increased risk, however no clear evidence exists to support this.
Aim(s)/objectives We aimed to identify if a relationship exists between the detection of STI and other indicators for CSE, by comparing to a matched control group who tested negative for STI.
Methods Utilising our service’s electronic patient record, which automatically prompts staff to risk assess, we identified that 1228 patients aged ≤15 yo were seen between 01/04/2013 and 31/03/2014, 52 of whom tested positive for STI. Their notes, plus a control group of 105 patients were reviewed for potential identifiers of CSE.
Results We identified no statistically significant association between testing positive for STI and other predictive factors for CSE.
Discussion/conclusion In this small study we found no significant increase in commonly used indicators for CSE in those who tested positive for STI. This highlights the importance of using several identifiers when assessing for CSE and the need for incorporating alternative screening tools such as Spotting The Signs.
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