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STD Risk High for Teen Girls in Cities

Indiana University researchers say half of all urban teenage girls may get one or more sexually transmitted infections within two years of becoming sexually active.

The researchers at the IU School of Medicine and Regenstrief Institute say their findings point to the need to screen sexually active teenage girls sooner for infections.

IU professor of pediatrics J. Dennis Fortenberry says testing should begin within a year of girls becoming sexually active. He says many clinicians are reluctant to address sexual activity with younger teens and therefore miss chances to prevent infections.

The study followed 381 girls who were from 14 to 17 when the research began. It found chlamydia, gonorrhea and other infections were very common among the girls.