Health Status > Health Indicators
Sexually Transmitted Infections
Reported rates of sexually transmitted infections
(STIs) among females are highest among adolescents and young adults.
In 2004, the rate of chlamydia among females aged 15 to 19 years
was 2,761 cases per 100,000, and the rate of gonorrhea diagnoses
among this age group was 611 per 100,000. The rates for both of
these STIs then begin to decrease with age. While rates of STIs
among 10- to 14-year-olds are relatively low, these cases raise
concerns about potential sexual abuse of minors.
In 2004, there were 1,722 cases of chlamydia
and 592 cases of gonorrhea per 100,000 non-Hispanic Black females,
compared to 226 and 40 cases, respectively, per 100,000 non-Hispanic
White females. American Indian/Alaska Native females also have high
rate of STIs, with 1,127 and 155 cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea,
per 100,000 females respectively.
Although these conditions are treatable with antibiotics, STIs can
have serious health consequences. Active infections can increase
the odds of contracting HIV, and untreated STIs can lead to pelvic
inflammatory disease, infertility, and adverse pregnancy outcomes.
Another STI, genital human papillomavirus (HPV),
is estimated to affect at least 50 percent of the sexually active
population. There are many different types of HPV, and some, which
are referred to as “high-risk,” can cause cancer. Although
cervical cancer in women is the most serious health problem caused
by HPV, it is highly preventable with regular Pap tests and follow-up
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
Division of STD Prevention. HPV: common infection, common reality.
May 2004. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/std/HPV