Sexually transmitted disease big among US teenagers

March 12th, 2008 - 12:05 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, March 12 (Xinhua) More than a quarter of US teenage girls have at least one common sexually transmitted disease (STD), according to a new study. Roughly 3.2 million girls between ages 14 and 19, accounting for 26 percent of the total, have human papilloma virus, chlamydia, genital herpes or trichomoniasis, according to the study released by the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) Tuesday.

The number would be even higher if less-common diseases such as HIV/AIDS, syphilis and gonorrhoea were included.

The highest overall prevalence is among African-American girls - nearly half of those studied had at least one STD. That compared with 20 percent among both whites and Mexican-American teenagers.

STDs cost almost $15 billion to treat annually in the US, and more than half of those infected are under 24 years old, said CDC.

About half the young women in the study reported having sex, and 40 percent of sexually active women had STDs.

HPV, a virus that causes cervical cancer, was the most common infection, prevalent among 18 percent of the teenage girls in the study, which analysed data from 838 teenagers who participated in a national health study in 2003 and 2004.

Researchers used the nationally representative sample to project rates across the US.

The second most common infection after HPV was Chlamydia, found in four percent of the young women.

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