Chicago (March 11, 2008) – A Communicable Disease Centre study released today estimates that one in four (26 percent) young women between the ages of 14 and 19 in the United States – or 3.2 million teenage girls – is infected with at least one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia, herpes simplex virus, and trichomoniasis).
The study also finds that African-American teenage girls were most severely affected. Nearly half of the young African-American women (48 percent) were infected with an STD, compared to 20 percent of young white women.
“Today’s data demonstrate the significant health risk STD’s pose to millions of young women in this country every year,” said Kevin Fenton, M.D. “Given that the health effects of STD’s for women – from infertility to cervical cancer – are particularly severe, STD screening, vaccination and other prevention strategies for sexually active women are among our highest public health priorities.”
“High STD infection rates among young women, particularly young African-American women, are clear signs that we must continue developing ways to reach those most at risk,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., M.D. “STD screening and early treatment can prevent some of the most devastating effects of untreated STD’s.”
CDC recommends annual chlamydia screening for sexually active women under the age of 25. CDC also recommends that girls and women between the ages of 11 and 26 who have not been vaccinated or who have not completed the full series of shots be fully vaccinated against HPV.
See; CDC press release