A staggering statistic for parents with teens: One in every four teenage girls has a sexually transmitted disease, according to a new Centers for Disease Control study. Nicole Pence has more.
The report focuses on girls between fourteen and nineteen. It may be difficult for some to wrap their minds around the percentage here, but 25-percent of those teens, apparently, has an STD. Locally, that number may be dead-on.
The CDC came out with the startling figures Tuesday after four years of research. The numbers show one in four teen girls is carrying at least one STD. If you break the rates down by races, there's a huge difference, with about half-the entire population of black teens, falling victim.
Common diseases examined here, include, the Humanpapilloma Virus, or HPV, Chlamydia, and Herpes. Doctor Deborah McMahan with the Allen County Health Department says her confidential STD clinic has seen more cases each year, except for a slight dip in 2007. She says for many teens, now, sex is "just another form of communication."
Dr. Deborah McMahan: "Our highest rates are always in that young population. They are inexperienced and I think many times they don't understand what they are getting into. They don't understand the potential consequences. They don't know how to protect themselves. They think of condoms are really only preventing pregnancies when they really don't understand it's to prevent a lot of diseases. I really only think it's a new form of communication."
The Doctor argues sexual messages are to blame, making teens think oral sex and other activities are casual and have no consequences. In fact, some STDs are permanent, and HPV can cause cervical cancer.
The Doctor believes the answer is to increase communication at school and at home. She argues it's naive to think your child isn't sexually active. Talk to your children and don't be afraid to have them tested.
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