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Half of Teen Girls in Urban Areas Get STIs

Half of teenage girls in urban areas may contract an STI within two years of losing their virginity, according to a study published today.

Researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine followed 386 urban adolescent girls for eight years and found that at least half of them contracted chlamydia, gonorrhea, or trichomoniasis within two years of having sex for the first time. A quarter of the participants had contracted their first STI by 15, most commonly chlamydia, and repeated infections were also common.

Unfortunately, because these girls are so young, doctors don't commonly screen them for STIs. Those behind the study hope the findings will increase testing among teens, but now that new (unrelated) medical guidelines recommend that girls wait until the age of 21 to get a pap test let's hope young women don't push back the date of their first gynecological visit altogether. They might not be at risk for cervical cancer, but it's clear that sexually active teens should get screened for STIs. How old were you when you first got tested?

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Join The Conversation
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
First of all - the study only looked at 386 urban teens. Not exactly overwhelming numbers to support this kind of claim. I got my first pap smear/STI check when I was 19 and have had it done every year since. I wasn't sexually active until I was 22. I'm married now and still have it done. I'd rather be safe and healthy than not know and find out something horrible later.
xgreenfairyx xgreenfairyx 7 years
Autumns_Eleg, if you have unprotected sex and catch a disease at 15, you're not exactly exploring your better options, are you. These girls clearly get to high school, snag their first boyfriend/s, and make dumb decisions. How else would you explain it? THOSE are the people I'm refering to. Either way, I was being facetious, if you couldn't detect the tone.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
xgreenfairyx, uhm, ease up. I reckon that was a bit uncalled for. I didn't bonk the first dude who called me pretty, and neither do many girls and boys around. Some people do, and some people don't. Deal. I was 19 when I first got tested, my boyfriend and I both got checked because we didn't want to use condoms. I'd always used them previously but wanted to be sure. I was the same, I assumed my other sexual partners weren't telling the truth and insisted upon a condom. No condom = no sex.
IsobelBloom IsobelBloom 7 years
It's really sad, but I think these days you just have to assume that the person you are sleeping with is likely to have a STI. Don't put your trust in someone just because you want to have a fun night.
Bettye-Wayne Bettye-Wayne 7 years
I've had unprotected sex with a questionable guy or two in my time and have been blessed/lucky enough to never have caught anything. It's scary out there. I started having sex when I was 16 but didn't have my first pap smear/sti (not std anymore?) test till I was 19. I've been tested regularly since then, and I don't take ANY chances. My sexual health is precious to me; I'm done gambling with it. The world needs to wise up to what teenagers are doing. Abstinence may be the best choice but it's not the choice many of us girls make. I think a girl should be able to walk into her school nurse's office and get on birth control, on the spot, no questions asked. After reading this, I think there should be mandatory physicals in schools, including STI testing for all kids who say they've had sex. Sure, some will lie to get out of it, but some won't. I don't know. Maybe that's a terrible idea. It can't be much worse than what it is right now, though. My little one is four now so I've got about 8 or 9 years before I have to deal with this issue with her. I've already been rehearsing what I'm going to say and how I'm going to bring it up. I can't change the world completely and I can't shelter her forever, but I can at least help her make wise decisions.
Ac2366 Ac2366 7 years
Is urban areas a nice way of saying in the ghetto? Women (and girls) should be examined and tested yearly as soon as they become sexually active. There is really no solution to this problem unless parents get involved. There is no way in hell these sexually active children are going to be responsible and proactive because they are not responsible adults.
Also, HPV was linked to causing anal cancer. There's something to think about ladies.
totygoliguez totygoliguez 7 years
I haven't got tested, but I'm still a virgin. I agree with the other comments, girls need to take care of their health. They need to inform themselves about the risks of sex and how to prevent it. The information is out there,they just need to look.
xgreenfairyx xgreenfairyx 7 years
Um, gross. But, they only have themselves to blame for being complete and utter gullible morons. Way to go, Twitter generation. BEFORE you have sex, you simpletons, please understand the risks. Don't sleep with the first guy who says you're pretty. God.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 7 years
Very sad :( Wish girls would take their health more seriously and get check ups, use condoms, etc
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