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Alarming Finding: One in Four Teenage Girls has a Sexually Transmitted Disease

One in four teenage girls between the ages of 14 and 19 in the United States has at least one sexually transmitted disease (STD). This means that 3.2 million teenage girls in the U.S. has at least one of the more common STDs, such as the human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia, herpes, trichomoniasis, or gonorrhea. Further, African American teens were more frequently affected at a rate of 48% than Caucasian teens (20%). The study, conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), is the first of its kind to capture statistics on the alarming incidence of STDs among teenage girls.

The researchers found that HPV and chlamydia were the two most common STDs. Certain STDs can have serious prolonged consequences, ranging from infertility to cervical cancer. The CDC recommends that girls receive the vaccine for HPV starting at age 11 and that sexually active teens receive annual chlamydia screening.

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