Region 8 Parents React To Study, 1 in 4 Girls Has STD

Jonesboro, AR (KAIT)- Anna Smith is a mother of three girls.

One is in high school, the other is in jr. High and her youngest is in elementary school.

She says the latest study released by the CDC that claims one in four girls the ages of 14-19 has an STD, has her in shock.

"One in four in America, that just shouldn't be," said Smith.

Doctors say the study should be a wake-up call for parents.

"I think this calls for a much broader conversation," said Dr. John Douglas, Dir. of STD Prevention, CDC. "There needs to be a frank and open conversation about sex."

It's the 'birds and the bees' talk that most parents oftentimes find a little difficult to broach.

"It's a very touchy subject and it's a hard area to approach. But we need to according to these statistics," said Smith.

Smith says she is in favor of schools teaching the subject of sex, in order to better prevent and educate, that there are consequences to having premarital sex.

"I trust that they will be careful and discreet with the things that they do bring out."

According to the study, half of African-Americans had at least one STD compared with 20 percent of whites and hispanics.

Smith says she believes the negative consequences of sex before marriage affect every person, no matter the background.

"It's not just any race, it's not just any socio-economic group, it's our culture."

According to the study, the HPV virus, which can lead to cervical cancer, was the most common STD found in girls. Health advocates hope the relatively new Gardasil vaccine will bring those numbers down to a lesser level.

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