Tuesday, March 11, 2008

STDs common among teen girls

Saw this headline today -- One in Four Women in Teens Have S.T.D.’s, Study Finds -- in the NYTimes, so I dug a bit deeper and discovered that the 2008 National STD Prevention Conference is going on right now (!) in Chicago, so this news was a press release from that conference. Here is a link to the conference's version of the article.

The news, which I don't find so surprising, is that 25% of all young women tested had an STD, and about 50% of African American young women had one. The STDs included human papillomavirus (H.P.V.), chlamydia, herpes simplex type 2 and trichomoniasis.

The NYTimes article states:

Officials of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the findings underscore the need for strengthening screening, vaccination and other prevention measures for S.T.D.’s, which are among the country’s highest public health priorities.

“High S.T.D. 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 Dr. John M. Douglas Jr., who directs the centers’ division of S.T.D. prevention.


Someone did a very interesting study. As part of NHANES, which is larger study of health issues, "participants in the statistically based survey are chosen on a random basis. The survey contacted 838 women ages 14 to 19 who agreed to be tested for a sexually transmitted infection. Extrapolating from the findings, researchers estimated that 3.2 million teenage women are infected with at least one of the S.T.D.’s." I'm not entirely sure how they got those 838 young women to get STD testing, but they feel this is a random sample, so they can estimate that the same percentage of young women in the general population will have STDs as well.

Maybe this will hammer the last nail into the coffin of the abstinence-only coalition. But I doubt it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't get the abstinence only people at all. This is just so unrealistic. It was unrealistic when I was a teen 40 years ago!!