Article by NY Times Lawrence K. Altman
The first national study of common sexually transmitted diseases among teenage women has found that one in four are infected with at least one of the diseases, federal health officials reported on Tuesday. Nearly half of African-American teenage women were infected with at least one of the diseases monitored in the study — human papillomavirus (H.P.V.), chlamydia, herpes simplex type 2 and trichomoniasis, a common parasite. That figure compared with 20 percent of white teenage women. The chart of HIV/AIDS infections (at right) shows that percentages are very close to the same as 2005 results.
The two most common sexually transmitted diseases (S.T.D.’s) among all the women tested were H.P.V. at 18 percent and chlamydia at 4 percent according to the analysis, which was part of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Among the infected women, 15 percent had more than one. Officials of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that the findings underscore the need for strengthening screening, vaccination and other prevention measures for S.T.D.’s, which are among the country’s highest public health priorities.
“High S.T.D. infection rates among young women, particularly young African-American women, are clear signs that we must continue developing ways to reach those most at risk,” said Dr. John M. Douglas Jr., who directs the centers’ division of S.T.D. prevention.Federal health officials ask about different health and nutrition issues in the survey, which is conducted each year. The S.T.D. analysis was based on information collected in the 2003-04 survey. Participants in the statistically based survey are chosen on a random basis. The survey contacted 838 women ages 14 to 19 who agreed to be tested for a sexually transmitted infection. Extrapolating from the findings, researchers estimated that 3.2 million teenage women are infected with at least one of the S.T.D.’s
S.T.D.’s can produce acute symptoms ranging from vaginal discharge to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and also lead to long-term ailments like infertility and cervical cancer. The survey tested for strains of H.P.V. that are linked to genital warts and cervical cancer. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends annual screening tests to detect chlamydia for sexually active women under age 25. The federal agency in Atlanta also recommends that women between ages 11 and 26 be fully vaccinated against H.P.V. [I highly disagree with the CDC's recommendation. It is dangerous and unnecessary for those who are abstinent. HPV can be 100% prevented by not having sex before marriage... and marrying a man who does the same.]
EDITORIAL: Look around your neighborhoods, schools and social centers. To put it boldly, the percentages reflect the promiscuity of the culture involved. In the South at least, black girls are far more likely to be sexually active at a young age than any other ethnic group. White girls are second, with Latinos and Asians the least sexually promiscuous. We need to reach young girls, especially blacks, with the message that they don't have to be sexually active to make it in life (or to make a living). NO, I am not saying they are whores. What I am saying (at least in the South) is that a large number of young black girls get pregnant by the time they are 15 years of age -- and then go on welfare to sustain their income. It's a vicious cycle that steals lives, creativity and potential. Without name calling and hate mongering, the subject needs to be discussed and the cycle needs to be broken. But, that's another subject for another time...
The one sure way to prevent STDs in these unmarried, but sexually active girls (they are not "women" because the vast majority are not of adult age) is through abstinence. The myth of "safe sex" is a LIE. It is a false sense of protection that fails -- which this survey further underscores. I find it odd that the survey did not include HIV/AIDS -- which is also prevalent among promiscuous teens.
God's plan for our sexuality is abstinence until marriage. Then, fidelity / monogamy after marriage. IF everyone practiced the ONLY two moral laws regarding sex, STDs would be wiped out in less than three generations. Then again, so would teen pregnancy, 99.9% of abortions, all sexual abuse and the remainder of the gamut that causes young women (and men) so much anguish and pain. THINK about it -- many of the problems faced by teens and 20-somethings are related to what they think is love, but is usually just lust brought on by all the sexual images they see and hear every day.
One last word to the kids who grew up with Bill Clinton's definition of "sex". Oral sex IS sex -- and you CAN catch an STD from having oral sex (giving or receiving).