CDC: Over 25% of teen girls in US have STIs

March 12, 2008

A shocking study by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention found than 26% of US girls between the ages of 14 and 19 have a sexually transmitted infection.

A shocking study by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention found that 26% of US girls between the ages of 14 and 19 have a sexually transmitted infection.

The study used national survey data between 2003 and 2004 to determine that 3.2 million girls are infected. The data shows that while Caucasian and Mexican-American girls have a 20% infection rate, the rate for African-American girls is almost 50%.

Most of the infected girls had human papillomavirus (HPV): almost 70% of the study's population had HPV, which often has no symptoms. Chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and herpes simplex virus were also common infections.

Some sex education critics point to the numbers as demonstrating a failure of abstinence education. With better information on condoms and birth control, they say, the rate of disease could have been much lower.