In Study, 1 in 4 Girls Is Found to Have STD
CHICAGO -- At least one in four teenage girls in the United States has a sexually transmitted disease, suggests a first-of-its-kind federal study that startled some adolescent-health experts.
The overall STD rate among the 838 girls in the study was 26 percent, researchers with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found. They released the results at a Tuesday conference.
Disease rates were significantly higher among black girls -- nearly half had at least one STD, vs. 20 percent among both whites and Mexican Americans.
Some doctors said the numbers might be a reflection of both abstinence-only sex education and the teenagers' own sense of invulnerability. Because some sexually transmitted infections can cause infertility and cancer, U.S. health officials called for better screening, vaccination and prevention.
Only about half of the girls in the study acknowledged having sex.