A new CDC study indicates that one in four (26%) female adolescents in the United States has at least one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Led by CDC’s Sara Forhan, the study is the first to examine the combined national prevalence of common STIs among adolescent women in the United States.
The authors analyzed data on 838 female adolescents (aged 14-19) who participated in the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a continuous annual study that examines a nationally representative sample of the U.S. household population to assess a broad range of health issues. For this analysis, the teens were tested for human papillomavirus (HPV) infection, chlamydia, herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection, and trichomoniasis. The authors examined high-risk HPV types, including 23 types of the virus that
are known to cause cancer, and the two types that cause most Genital Warts.
Based on the overall STI prevalence of 26 percent, the authors estimate that about 3.2 million adolescent females in the United States are infected with one of these STIs. They note that the total prevalence might be slightly higher than these estimates indicate, because some STIs – including syphilis, HIV and gonorrhea – were not included in the analysis; however, the prevalence of these STIs is low in this age group.
All together 70 million are afflicted with STDs in the U.S. alone and an estimated over 400 million worldwide. Are you one of them?
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