Teens & STDs
7 Healthcast: Teens & STDs
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At least one in four teenage girls across the country between the ages of 14 to 19 has a sexually transmitted disease, according to a new study by the Centers for Disease Control.
"That rate is not a surprise to me," said adolescent medicine specialist Dr. Mark Goldstein.
Researchers looked at survey results from more than 800 girls.
"The most common sexually transmitted disease in this age group is the human papilloma virus that causes cancer and genital warts," Dr. Goldstein said.
18 percent of the girls in the study had the human papillomavirus, or HPV. 4 percent had Chlamydia, while 2.5 percent had trichomoniasis, and 2 percent had herpes.
The CDC study finds black teens are most at risk, almost half have have an STD.
"Many African Americans remain at high risk because prevalence in the community," said Dr. John Douglas of the CDC.
Dr. Goldstein says intercourse isn't the only way to spread infection.
"Oral sex and touching can transmit the HPV virus to girls," he said.
That's why sex education is so important.
"Educate the patient, the parents as to prevention," Dr. Goldstein said. "This includes vaccination when available as well as preventative measures regarding sexual activity."
The CDC recommends annual Chlamydia screening for sexually active women under age 25 and the HPV vaccine for girls starting at 11-12 years of age.(Copyright 2008 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)