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Salt Lake City combats rising STD rates with new education program

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Recent STD testing in the Salt Lake City area has shown that rates of infection are rising at a dramatic pace, especially among teens, prompting public health officials in the city to launch new education campaigns aimed at helping parents talk to their children about sex.

Lynn Beltran, of the city's health department, told the Desert News that many sexual education programs teach abstinence only are naïve, and don't give teens the knowledge they need to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.

"We hear from parents that we don't need to teach anything beyond abstinence, but those who work with teens in clinics see the results," she told the news source. "Parents may hope teens aren't having sex, but that's not the reality."

As a result, Beltran said that a large portion of the city's new STD cases are coming from teens.

Despite accounting for just 25 percent of the total population, 15 to 24-year-olds acquire nearly half of all new STD cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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