1 in 4 American girls 14 - 19 has a sexually transmitted disease

Sexually Transmitted DiseasesCourtesy NLMAt least one in four teenage girls nationwide has a sexually transmitted disease, or more than 3 million teens. These results were prepared for release today at a CDC conference in Chicago on preventing sexually transmitted diseases.
The study by CDC researcher Dr. Sara Forhan is an analysis of nationally representative data on 838 girls who participated in a government health survey. The percentage of teens testing positive for each of the four infections tested

  • human papillomavirus (HPV) - - 18%
  • chlamydia - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 4%
  • trichomoniasis - - - - - - - - - - - - - 2.5%
  • herpes simplex virus - - - - - - - - - 2%

About half of the girls acknowledged ever having sex, where the rate was 40 percent . Dr. John Douglas, director of the CDC's division of STD prevention, said the data, from 2003-04, likely reflect current rates of infection.

Chlamydia and trichomoniasis can be treated with antibiotics. The CDC recommends annual chlamydia screening for all sexually active women under age 25. It also recommends the three-dose HPV vaccine for girls aged 11-12 years, and catch-up shots for females aged 13 to 26. CDC

I think STDs in teenage girls need to be talked about. Please comment

Read more about STDs in American teensged girls at ABCnews.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

diamond2008's picture
diamond2008 says:

wow this crazy

posted on Wed, 03/12/2008 - 8:41am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I think that abstinence only education needs to be thrown out the window! If we're still getting STD's and teen pregnancies obviously it's not working. At my high school that was all that was taught and everyone had sex anyway. If we're not educating about condoms ! hello! sex or no sex... which are you going to pick... yeah. i also think that parents need to talk to their kids a lot more about sex. My parents were really bad in that department. i remember one day going home and bringing up what if i got pregnant and all my mom said was "You better not be having babies!!" And i never brought it up again.

posted on Sat, 04/05/2008 - 9:27am
Suki Timer's picture
Suki Timer says:

I have an STD and it sucks!!

posted on Wed, 03/12/2008 - 11:59am
Candice_318's picture
Candice_318 says:

I think you shouldn't really promote your STD kid???Candice
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posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 8:55am
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

For a reliable source of factual information about sexually transmitted disease click on the links below.

posted on Fri, 03/14/2008 - 11:57am
BLB's picture
BLB says:

Yeah I heard about this on the news, that is really scary to know. I think girls well especially young girls should be aware of this serious topic. I know someone who has an std and it's really serious. We need to be more aware and we need some more knowledge about this. I do think it should be more talked about. I like girls, and i got to watch out for the 1 out of every 4.


posted on Wed, 03/12/2008 - 6:36pm
twila_08's picture
twila_08 says:

This is scary for me knowing that I am a female who is 18. I'm not to much worried about it and other girls shouldn't be if they protect themselves.

Twila Turnage

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 8:53am
hmoob_muas's picture
hmoob_muas says:

this is scary, i have be more carefulf about girls these days.

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 8:53am
Kunicki24's picture
Kunicki24 says:

1 out of four girls with a STD thats crazy, we really need to inform teens about this stuff better. I mean they get a basic info in there health class but obviously they aren't getting enough information to prevent it.

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 8:54am
andyshadexx's picture
andyshadexx says:

I guess this would depen on luck

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 8:54am
nelson.robin's picture
nelson.robin says:

wow thats crazy man we have like nine girls in my science class so 2 out of the nine has a disease man thats so wild.... females now days are so nasty and dont care about there health or anybody elses...

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 8:55am
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Remember this, though: That study showed that 18% of the girls tested were positive for HPV. The percentage of infected boys could be similar. But right now, there isn't a test for HPV in boys. (That's one of the reasons some people advocate vaccinating girls against HPV at an early age--they hope reducing infections in girls will also reduce an unknown number of infections in boys.)

Remember, too, that "it takes two to tango." The girls in the study are having sex with someone. Everyone, male OR female, needs to know the facts and take responsibility for his or her own health. If you're not mature and responsible enough to do that, you're not mature and responsible enough for a sexual relationship.

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 10:19am
zephyr's picture
zephyr says:

holly crap........all i can say is wrap it up or ladies keep them legs also woried because my sister is 14 and ill kill someone if she gets a std

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 8:55am
tiffany_88's picture
tiffany_88 says:

It's so bad because I can't believe girls with infection. It's sad because in US we have information about that so...

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 8:57am
Candice_318's picture
Candice_318 says:

Stop having sex like maniacs and females wouldn't have these problems. But really where do these females get these diseases.Most likely a guy so their not innocent in this situation.Candice
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posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 8:57am
shanee's picture
shanee says:

Thats sad that people are going through this at such young ages..i mean age really dosent matter..but just rap it up ladies..and leave these dirty boys alone! be smart about who your with and most of all be honest and tell the truth.

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 8:58am
MrBig621188's picture
MrBig621188 says:

its guys also that spread these so guys don't be silly and wrap your willie

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 8:58am
DangYo's picture
DangYo says:

quote MrBig621188: "Wrap Your Willie"
that is a good one

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 9:04am
flinch619's picture
flinch619 says:

damn. my girl is clean. keep ur stuff out of nasty girls. i think it would be the most messed up thing if someone, boy or girl had an STD and did it raw anyway not notifying the other person. most the time i think thats the case and thats messed up


posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 9:07am
Andy Korman's picture
Andy Korman says:

i havent come across anything like that so im safe for now. always wear a rubber

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 9:10am
zephyr's picture
zephyr says:

guys may help the girls get it but i know alot of lose girls.

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 9:11am
bert123's picture
bert123 says:

DD115? that is great
IBI Call it what you want IBI

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 9:17am
bert123's picture
bert123 says:

remember no party without the baloons kids!!! and candice dont blame the guys for stds you can get them from sitting on a toilet seat lets get to know how they are spread pal. since you brought up having an std elaberate on it. i know that im clean.
IBI Call it what you want IBI

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 9:13am
Candice_318's picture
Candice_318 says:

Aye kiss my____. I know the other ways it'S spread kid... I know that one dur!!! I'M JUST SAYING THEY DIDN'T JUST GET IT FROM NO WHERE... THAT MEANS 1 IN 4 GUYS GOT THE SAME DAMN THING KID..

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posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 9:20am
LEE's picture
LEE says:

I think that girls, don't matter the age, I think that they shouldn't be having sex, until they're married. But that's my opinion. But girls who do already have STD i hope that they're getting the treatment or help that they need. But yeah i too heard that you could get STD's or other diseases from sitting on a toilet seat, especially in public restrooms.

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 9:22am
Liza's picture
Liza says:

It's actually pretty darn tough--practically impossible--to catch an STD from a toilet seat. Crab lice are about the only exception.

Don't believe me? Check this allexperts page, or this one from the Kinsey Institute.

Ask Yahoo! tackled the question, too. Same answer. And the last two paragraphs of the Yahoo! page read:

" As Columbia University's Health Promotion Program sums up: "Because toilet seats are not major culprits in spreading disease, paper or plastic seat covers offer little more than peace of mind." In fact, you have more to fear from bathroom door handles and faucets than from commodes.

And while we're on the topic, you might consider something to cover that phone receiver. A University of Arizona microbiology team tested a dozen office surfaces including the bathroom. The scientists found that phone receivers had 25,000 bacteria per square inch, while toilet seats had only 49 bacteria per square inch. Talk about calling in sick!

posted on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 3:48pm
flinch619's picture
flinch619 says:


condoms dont prevent the spread of HIV though. latex is porous meaning it has holes. HIV is smaller than those holes. real talk wrappin up doesnt always prevent it


posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 9:22am
Anonymous2's picture
Anonymous2 says:

I don't know if that's exactly how it works...

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 5:43pm
bryan kennedy's picture

Hey flinch619,

You are very incorrect here. I don't mean to be rude but I have to be extra clear on this issue. According to many sources when latex condoms are used correctly they are VERY effective at preventing the spread of HIV between sexual partners.

Check out the American Red Cross' fact sheet on condoms for more information.

Specifically referring to your comment about the size of the HIV virus you might want to check out this great page from the Straight Dope on whether HIV can pass through a condom. Condoms are manufactured to higher standards than other latex products with larger pore holes such as latex gloves. Many scientific studies have shown condoms to be successful in preventing the spread of disease when used consistently.

So condoms are an essential part of preventing the spread of HIV.

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 11:45pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

You're right about HIV, Bryan: condoms, when used consistently, are very effective against transmission of that virus.

But condoms are less effective at preventing the spread of HPV. (And we're maybe seeing that reflected in the infection statistics, as 18% of the girls in the study--the largest percentage--had HPV infections.

According to the CDC:

"Because HPV is so common and usually invisible, the only sure way to prevent it is not to have sex. Even people with only one lifetime sex partner can get HPV, if their partner was infected with HPV. Condoms (used all the time and the right way) may lower your chances of passing HPV to a partner or developing HPV-related diseases. But HPV can infect areas that are not covered by a condom—so condoms may not fully protect against HPV."

And the same HPV fact sheet (which is about HPV in men, so some of you might find it interesting), goes on to say that:

"Genital human papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus. Most sexually active people in the United States (U.S.) will have HPV at some time in their lives."

posted on Fri, 03/14/2008 - 12:25pm
Jefflemus00's picture
Jefflemus00 says:

1 out of 4 girls?!?!? omg that's crazy high and not cool. Com'on people let try to keep it safe, and if you do have some type of something, wrap it up so prevent the spread.

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 9:23am
zephyr's picture
zephyr says:

show me the stats where it says 1 and 4 dudes has it

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 9:24am
Liza's picture
Liza says:

I think it's useful to look at the stats on everyone here, don't you?
I looked up the Centers for Disease Control Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report for 2006--the most current year available.

The report begins,

"Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain STDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24. In addition to the physical and psychological consequences of STDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs associated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

(The emphasis is mine.)

The bummer about the report is that it only looks at chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. (Remember: it's hard to get accurate data on HPV infection because a) it's SO common, b) it often causes no symptoms whatsoever, and c) there isn't a test for the virus in men.)

Still, even without HPV, there's plenty of cause for concern.

  • Chlamydia is the most commonly reported STD in the US, with 1,030,911 infections reported in 2006. But lots of cases go undiagnosed, and the CDC estimates the true rate of infection at somewhere around 2.8 million per year. The reported rate works out to 347.8 infections per 100,000 people, or between 3 and 4 people in every 1000. Rates of chlamydia in young women are higher than those in young men, but this may be because women are more likely to be screened. In fact, the CDC summary report section on chylamydia concludes, "data from chlamydia screening in family planning clinics across the United States indicate that approximately 7 percent of 15- to 24-year-old females in these settings are infected."
  • There were 358,366 new gonorrhea infections reported in 2006. Like chlamydia, gonorrhea is underreported, and the true rate of infection may be double. The reported rate works out to 159.2 infections per 100,000 people, or between 1 and 2 people in every 1000.
  • There were 9,756 new syphilis infections reported in 2006. That's 3.3 cases per 100,000 people. The number seems small compared with chlamydia infections, but the rate is climbing: it's up 13.8% between 2005 and 2006, and the rate is increasing fastest in young men.
posted on Fri, 03/14/2008 - 1:35pm
MrBig621188's picture
MrBig621188 says:

what candice said is in a way true because 1 in 4 americans will have a STD in there life so that would include guys

posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 9:26am
Anonymous#23456789101112131415161718192021222322425's picture
Anonymous#23456789101112131415161718192021222322425 says:


posted on Thu, 03/13/2008 - 9:28am
bert123's picture
bert123 says:

just because 1 in 4 girls have it doesnt exactly mean that its the same stat for the guys as well i would check your facts before you say things like that because this statistic is only for girls in a specific age range. therfore it has direct relation to the statistics with men.
IBI Call it what you want IBI

posted on Fri, 03/14/2008 - 11:06am
etp's picture
etp says:

i was just wondering how do u exactly know if you have a std i mean other than goingto the docter??
thank you

posted on Tue, 03/18/2008 - 2:46pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Here's a list of typical symptoms of some of the most common STDs.

If you have any suspicions at all, you need to see a doctor right away for two reasons: 1) STDs can be very contagious and you don't want to infect a partner; and 2) untreated STDs can have devastating effects on your future fertility, as well as your general health. Don't try to self-diagnose or self-treat!

posted on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 3:39pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

So much for the American Dream! Is this what the US and the west have been fighting for? The free way of life which will eventually lead to the destruction of its people. Shame on us.

posted on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 3:15pm

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