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African-American men forgo STD testing at the risk of their health

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

A sociologist says that an increasing number of African-American men may be choosing not to undergo STD testing because of personal attitudes about masculinity and sexual health.

Waverly Duck, a Yale University researcher, interviewed black men about what aspects of their lives they felt made them feel self-confident, and the most frequent response was virility, followed by economic security, physical strength and social position.

Medical testing that is available from non-traditional channels is one way to address the concerns of black men about losing their sexual health, as can an understanding of what conditions can be treated and allow them to return to intimate activities that they use to define their masculinity.

"Voluntary health screening procedures for conditions such as prostate cancer, heart disease and HIV/AIDS tests should be available," Duck argued in a paper describing his research.

Otherwise, for two-thirds of the men he interviewed, the risk of losing one's sexual freedom will outweigh the benefits of receiving medical testing that could limit the spread of STDs.ADNFCR-2248-ID-19292502-ADNFCR

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