Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

1-in-4 Sexually Active Teen Girls May Have An STI

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Oh my! I hope everyone has heard about the announcement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) this week that 1-in-4 teen girls is likely to have at least one sexually transmitted disease. HPV is by far the most common sexually transmitted infection in teen girls (18%), but chlamydia was prominent (4%), as was trichomoniasis (2.5%) and herpes (2%). - nearly half of the African American girls and 20% of white and Mexican American girls were infected. Left undiagnosed and untreated these infections are likely to to cause cervical cancer and infertility in these young women.

What seems to missing in all the hoopla about this fact this week is the question - how? How is it that teenage girls are getting infected with sexually transmitted infections? Why is it that no one is pointing out the fact that these girls are very likely having unprotected sex with adult men, who have had multiple sexual partners.

Have you vaccinated your daughters against HPV yet? The CDC recommends vaccinating all 11-12 year-olds, and it is time we all accept that our daughters are at risk - talk to them about using barrier methods if they are having any sexual contact and please make sure they understand that adults who show sexual interest in them are breaking the law and are not concerned about what is in their best interest.

Photo credit: ND. The Wonder Boy
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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.

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