Society for Women's Health Research President and CEO Phyllis Greenberger, M.S.W., issued the following statement in response to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study released yesterday, which found that one in four females aged 14-19 has a sexually transmitted disease:
“The discovery that 26 percent of young women carry a sexually transmitted disease should be a wake-up call reminding young women of the unique STD dangers they face as a result of biological differences between the sexes.
“Women need to understand that they are at higher risk than men for contracting STDs because the lining of the vagina is very susceptible to absorbing a sexually transmitted virus.
“It is important that women who are sexually active practice safe sex and receive regular screenings, because STDs may go unnoticed for long periods of time. If left untreated, certain STDs can cause infertility, pregnancy complications, cervical cancer, or pelvic inflammatory disease.
“The study also revealed that 18 percent of the study participants had the human papillomavirus -- also known as HPV. This pattern highlights the importance of regular screening and the HPV vaccine, now approved for females nine to 26 years old.”