Health

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One in Four Teenage Girls Has an STD

May 24, 2008 07:17 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
A new CDC study suggests one in every four teenage girls has an STD. HPV, which can cause cervical cancer, is by far the most prevalent.

30-Second Summary

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The girls, aged 14 to 19, were tested for four infections in the study. It found that 18 percent of participants had HPV, four percent had chlamydia, 2.5 percent had trichomoniasis and two percent had herpes simplex virus.

The prevalence of STDs was highest in the black girls studied, nearly half of whom had at least one STD.

The CDC’s Dr. Kevin Fenton said that "screening, vaccination and other prevention strategies for sexually active women are among our highest public health priorities,” since STDs can cause infertility and cervical cancer.

The recent advent of Gardasil, the first vaccination approved to prevent HPV, may help lower rates of infection and cervical cancer in women.

Deborah Kotz writes about the importance of preventative measures on U.S. News and World Report’s On Women blog. A recent study suggests Gardasil may cut the rate of pap smear abnormalities by 43 percent—the pap test checks for abnormal cervical cells that can lead to cancer.

But when the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Gardasil in 2006, many worried about the political implications of vaccinating young girls before they were sexually active.

Headline Link: ‘One in Four Teenage Girls Has STD’

Opinion & Analysis: The importance of prevention

Related Topic: The political implications of Gardasil

Background: STDs on the rise

Reference: STDs – the facts

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