Even if they haven't had sex, a young girl may still have HPV
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It's important for people to remember that intercourse is not the only way that they can contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD). Some of these infections can also be transmitted through any contact with the genitals or fluids such as vaginal discharge and semen, which is why people should practice safer sex during all forms of sexual contact. Recently, researchers from Cincinnati Children's Hospital in Ohio recently discovered that many young girls who have never had intercourse have the human papillomavirus (HPV), a virus that can be transmitted sexually, and also through genital-to-genital or hand-to-genital contact.
My Health News Daily reported on the study, which examined more than 250 girls between the ages of 13 and 21 who had been vaccinated against HPV between 2008 and 2010. They found that among sexually active participants, 70 percent tested positive for HPV. Furthermore, more than 11 percent of girls who reported that they were not sexually active also tested positive for the virus.
"Even before kids have intercourse,they're being exposed to HPV," said study researcher Lea Widdice, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, quoted by the news source. "Vaccination at 11 to 12 years old is not too early."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 90 percent of cases the body's immune system is able to rid itself of HPV naturally. However, in some cases, HPV can cause cervical cancer, which is why it's important for people to be protected from this virus.
The findings of this recent study suggest that young people need more information about the various ways that STDs can be spread. Many teens may be under the impression that a person has to have sex in order to contract a sexual infection, and that type of thinking could increase their risk of getting an STD.
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