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Sexually Transmitted Infection Found Common in Teen Girls

Twenty-four percent of female adolescents have any of five infections, including HPV

MONDAY, Nov. 23 (HealthDay News) -- In adolescent girls, the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections is substantial, and human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common infection, according to a study published online Nov. 23 in Pediatrics.

Sara E. Forhan, M.D., of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues analyzed data from 838 girls aged 14 to 19 years who participated in the 2003 to 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.

The researchers found that the prevalence of any of five sexually transmitted infections -- Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, Trichomonas vaginalis, herpes simplex virus type 2, and HPV -- was 24.1 percent among all subjects and 37.7 percent among sexually experienced subjects. Of these, HPV was the most common infection (18.3 percent) followed by C. trachomatis infection (3.9 percent).

"These findings highlight the importance of both primary and secondary sexually transmitted infection prevention, including early, skill-based sex education; HPV vaccination of preadolescent girls; and chlamydia screening of all sexually active female adolescents," the authors conclude.

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