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One in Four Teenage Girls Infected with STD

By March 11, 2008 - 3:09pm
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How many teenagers in the United States are infected with a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD)?

A recent study published in the New York Times announced the following findings:

Almost 50% of African-American teenage women were infected with an STD (sexually transmitted disease), compared to approximately 20% of white teenage women.

This study was done on a national level, with just over 800 participants who agreed to be tested for sexually transmitted infections. They generalized the 800 participants to a national level, guessing that over 3 million teenage girls are infected with an STD (STI).

What do you think of this finding and this study? You can read about it here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/12/science/12std.html?ref=health

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HERWriter Guide

My concern about HPV is that most people do not know they have it and the many, many strains of HPV can change or mutate (like HIV). Therefore people can pass it along to many others, causing THEM to get HPV and possible cervical cancer. And this virus is caused by skin to skin contact, not bodily fluids so condoms do not protect against HPV. This is why 80% of Americans who have had sex have been exposed to it.

Either way, 25% of young American teens having an STD is horrendous. Many of these infections cause infertility, not to mention physical pain, embarrassment and anxiety. It has to be very difficult meeting a lovely person and then ultimately having to sit down and explain that you have herpes. That doesn't mean you have to be relationship-less for life - but it makes things harder.

I think expecting to be a virgin on one's wedding night is unrealistic (and not particularly necessary - if one wants a relationship before marriage then one should be responsible about it and go ahead!) but I do think that remaining sexually inactive in the teen years is a pretty darn good idea. I don't mean that it's then cool to get your STD when you turn 20! But as a more mature adult, it's easier to say no to sex, we are more informed and we better understand the consequences of our actions.

I'm all about informed consent and I don't believe teens are informed enough. That 25% statistic is proof right there.

I also hope that teens can talk to their parents (and just as importantly the parents can talk to their kids!) about STDs/STI's as well as pregnancy and the emotional issues attached to having sex at a young age.

March 12, 2008 - 12:31pm

I saw this article yesterday too and did a little research. If ound a blog in WSJ that said while alarming, there's no need for a panic.

"The majority of those cases are infections with strains of a virus, human papillomavirus, that are associated with genital warts and cancer. But most people who get infected with HPV never know it, because the virus goes away without causing any health problems. “It is important to realize that most HPV infections clear on their own,” noted a summary of the study that the CDC emailed to the WSJ.

Think it underscores the need for awareness, but also may not need to be as concerned as some would like us to believe.

March 12, 2008 - 8:11am
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