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Researchers encourage STD testing in teen girls

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Doctors may begin to urge more frequent STD testing after a recent study determined that about half of teenage girls living in U.S. cities contract at least one sexually transmitted infection within two years of becoming sexually active.

The study by researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine focused on identifying chlamydia, gonorrhea or trichomoniasis - three of the more common STDs - in 381 girls between the ages of 14 and 17, HealthDay News reports.

The results of the STD testing, which were reported in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine, also found that repeated infections were common among the patients studied.

In fact, subsequent STD infections were discovered within two years of the initial diagnosis in about 75 percent of the girls and within four years in about 92 percent, according to the news source.

Among their conclusions, the researchers, led by Wanzhu Tu of the Regenstrief Institute, indicated that STD testing in sexually active teen girls should begin within a year of first intercourse and should be repeated three to four times a year.

AVERT, an international charity aimed at educating the public about STDs, revealed that reported cases of chlamydia have increased more than 40 percent since 2001.
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