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Any child or vulnerable adult with STI symptoms needs to be evaluated by a health professional to determine the cause and to assess for possible abuse. STI symptoms are not normal in children and are worrisome in vulnerable adults because they may be caused by sexual injury and abuse if:

  • Symptoms can't be explained or they do not match the explanation.
  • Repeated symptoms occur.
  • Explanations change for how the symptoms are caused.

You may be able to prevent further abuse by reporting it.

  • If you suspect child abuse, call your local child or adult protective agency, police, or a health professional (such as a doctor, nurse, or counselor). The National Child Abuse Hotline and Referral Service is available at 1-800-422-4453.
  • If you suspect elder abuse, report it.
  • If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, seek help.
  • If you have trouble controlling your anger with a child in your care, resources are available for help.

It is important to have symptoms of sexual abuse evaluated by a health professional.


By: Healthwise Staff Current as of: November 16, 2012
Medical Review: William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine

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