1 in 4 U.S. Teenage Girls has VD

U.S. teenage girls have a high rate of venereal disease a.k.a. sexually transmitted infections (STI).

One in every four teenage girls in U.S. has at least one of the most common venereal diseases, according to a recent study conducted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Based on the study, the authors conservatively estimate that 3.2 million American teenage girls are infected with VD. The authors say that the total number might actually a bit higher since venereal diseases like Syphilis, HIV and Gonorrhea were not included in the analysis.

The four common venereal diseases included in the study are human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia, genital herpes and trichomoniasis.

The study was conducted among girls aged 14-19.

Besides the overall venereal diseases or STI prevalence, the study also points out that:

* The most common STI was cancer- and genital wart-associated HPV (18.3%), followed by chlamydia (3.9%), trichomoniasis (2.5%), and HSV-2 (1.9%). Among the teenage girls who had an STI, 15% had more than one.

* By race, African American teenage girls had the highest prevalence, with an overall STI prevalence of 48% compared to 20% among both whites and Mexican Americans. (Other Hispanics and race/ethnic populations were captured in the survey, but there were insufficient numbers in any one group to permit valid prevalence estimates for any group except Mexican Americans.)

* Overall, approximately half of all the teens in the study reported ever having had sex. Among these girls, the STI prevalence was 40%.

* Even among girls reporting only one lifetime partner, one in five (20.4%) had at least one STI. Girls with three or more partners had a prevalence of over 50%. The predominant STI was HPV.

While the teenage girls are at high risk for HPV infection, the study also notes:

It is important to realize that most HPV infections clear on their own; however some infections persist over time, placing women at risk for cervical cancer. A vaccine against HPV types 16 and 18, responsible for 70% of cervical cancer, and types 6 and 11, responsible for nearly all genital warts, is now recommended routinely for 11 and 12 year-old girls.

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