Sex researchers who tracked teenage girls in Indianapolis found that half of those studied had at least one sexually transmitted infection within two years of first having sex.
The Indiana University School of Medicine researchers followed 381 girls who mostly lived in lower-income neighborhoods and ranged in age from 14 to 17 when the study began.
IU professor J. Dennis Fortenberry says about half had infections that cause chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis (trih-koh-muh-NY'-uh-sis). He says about half of the girls had sex by age 14.
Elizabeth Schroeder is head of the sex education group Answer. She was not involved in the study but says it highlights the need to educate teens earlier about risks of sexually transmitted diseases.
The study appears in this month's issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine.