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Human papillomavirus infection is a sexually transmitted disease associated with cervical dysplasia and carcinoma.To determine prevalence rates of cervical human papillomavirus infection compared with other sexually transmitted diseases and risk factors associated with human papillomavirus infection among adolescent women, we evaluated 634 patients attending three urban adolescent clinics.Patient evaluation included Pap smears; screening for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomoniasis; and testing of cervical swab samples for human papillomavirus DNA.Cervical human papillomavirus was the most common STD in our population (15.6%), followed by infection with Chlamydia trachomatis (11.0%), Neisseria gonorrhoeae (7.1%), and Trichomonas vaginatis (5.4%). The most prevalent human papillomavirus types were 16/18 (7.3%), followed by 31/33/35 (4.7%) and 6/11 (3.5%). When genital warts on exam, low-grade squamous in-traepithelial lesions on cytology, or cervical human papillomavirus DNA were considered as indicators of genital human papillomavirus infection, 24% of patients had any manifestation of infection, including 15% with clinically apparent infection (genital warts), 36% with cytologically apparent infection without warts, and 49% with subclinical infection only (cervical human papillomavirus DNA without low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions or warts). Factors associated with detection of cervical human pap-pillomavirus DNA by multivariate analysis included number of lifetime sexual partners and genital warts on exam.Cervical human papillomavirus infection was the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease among an ethnically diverse group of urban adolescent females, with a large proportion of infections neither clinically nor cytologically apparent. The strong association with lifetime sexual partners substantiates that cervical human papillomavirus is acquired predominantly by sexual contact and often soon after the onset of sexual activity.