Ethnic Differences in STD Rates among Female Adolescents
Buzi, Ruth S., Weinman, Maxine L., Smith, Peggy B., Adolescence
Adolescents in general and minority adolescents in particular have significantly higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) than do other groups. According to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1993a), every year three million teens (one out of every eight) are infected with an STD. Approximately 24-30% of gonorrhea cases reported in 1981 through 1991 were among adolescents. Some of the highest rates were for 15- to 19-year-old Black females. Further, adolescents accounted for 10-12% of reported primary and secondary syphilis cases. Syphilis rates for Black female adolescents increased more than 150% from 1986 to 1990, compared with increases of less than 50% for other ethnic groups. In addition, chlamydia rates were significantly higher among Black females than among White females (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1993b). Rates of STD reinfection have also been found to be higher among minorities (Richert et al., 1993). STD reinfections are particularly serious because they increase susceptibility to HIV (Rosenberg & Gollub, 1992).
Number of sexual partners and lack of condom use are considered the most significant factors in STD exposure. As the number of sexual partners increases, the cumulative risk for contracting an STD from an infected partner rises (Millstein, Moscicki, & Broering, 1993). Further, adolescents have been found not to use condoms consistently (Hingson, Strunin, & Berlin, 1990; Kegeles, Adler, & Irwin, 1988). Although rates of condom use are low for all teenagers, rates for Black and Hispanic teens are markedly lower than those for White teens. Data from the 1988 National Survey of Family Growth indicate that among females aged 15-19, 51% of Whites have used condoms as compared with 41% of Hispanics and 35% of Blacks. It has also been found that Black and Hispanic females are less likely than White females to have sexual partners who always use condoms (Catania et al., 1992; Marin & Marin, 1992).…
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Publication information: Article title: Ethnic Differences in STD Rates among Female Adolescents. Contributors: Buzi, Ruth S. - Author, Weinman, Maxine L. - Author, Smith, Peggy B. - Author. Journal title: Adolescence. Volume: 33. Issue: 130 Publication date: Summer 1998. Page number: 313+. © 1999 Libra Publishers, Inc. COPYRIGHT 1998 Gale Group.
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