In 1995, 5 of the 10 most frequently reported diseases in the United States were sexually transmitted. Each year, approximately 3 million American teenagers contract a sexually transmitted disease. Adolescents in general and young women in particular suffer a disproportionate share of the burden attributed to sexually transmitted diseases.
Because of facts such as these, the Institute of Medicine convened a 15-member Committee on Prevention and Control of Sexually Transmitted Diseases to study this problem. Members were charged to focus on sexually transmitted diseases other than human immunodeficiency virus infection. The comprehensive report, The Hidden Epidemic: Confronting Sexually Transmitted Diseases, published early in 1997,1 contains a substantial amount of information of interest to those with an involvement or stake in adolescent health. This includes clinicians, policy makers, public health workers, school officials, and managed care organizations.
The stand-alone "Summary" is available online at http://www.nap.edu. The entire report is available