STD cases increase

Wednesday, March 12th 2008, 9:43 pm
By: News On 6

The Centers for Disease Control reports one in four teenage girls has a sexually transmitted disease. The number mirrors what health officials say they're seeing here in Oklahoma.  In Oklahoma, females between the ages of 13 and 19 account for some of the highest numbers of sexually transmitted diseases.

Some college students were shocked to hear those statistics, but not at all surprised.

"I don't think they're really taking it seriously because you know you kind of get into the heat of the moment and you're not thinking, you're not thinking like hey, you know I need to wrap it up," said college student Safiya Lucas.

"People have this fantasy world that it's not going to happen to me, but it really can," said college student Avea Howard. "I mean it can happen to anybody. If you don't have protection, you can get anything."

The most common STD the state is seeing in young teens and women is Chlamydia, and the numbers are highest among African American females.

"You just kind of want to go around and tell people, us African American females, we need to help each other support one another and be like hey, we cannot be out here doing this," Lucas said.

Health official Jan Fox said the actual STD cases are likely higher than the statistics actually show.

"Many people who have sexually transmitted diseases are not symptomatic and therefore are not diagnosed," Fox said.

Undiagnosed cases can lead to the further spread of the disease and long-term health problems.

"Chlamydia can lead to infertility, in particular, among young women," Fox said.

Health Officials said education could help curb the statistics, but right now, there is very little being done by the state to warn teens about the dangers of STD's.

"Just basically be careful and be protected, that's the best thing you can do," Howard said.

State Health Officials advise all women who are younger than 25 and sexually active to get tested every year for Chlamydia.

To learn talking about STDs and other difficult topics with your children, click here.