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Study: Communication can help reduce the risk of STDs among black teenagers

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

New research has shown that by getting the right information from medical, social and educational outlets, black teenagers are less likely to contract STDs. According to Oregon State University (OSU), the rate of STDS is ten times greater among black adolescents in urban areas who come from low-income families than it is for white teenagers.

The study, which was published in Research in Human Development, was based on interviews with 15- to 17-year-old black adolescents. The research revealed that teens do a good job of separating good information from bad, so concerns about students getting mixed messages from various media and educational outlets may be overstated.

"We found that young black kids who got information from varied sources tended to do pretty well in making smart choices," said research author Margaret Dolcini, Ph.D.

She also reported that although there has been significant progress when it comes to prevention, there needs to be continued exploration and an increased understanding of the causes of unsafe sex.

The study also revealed that teaching abstinence may be a good method for kids at a young age, but it should also stress other means of emotional interaction that do not include sex. The study showed that sexual education will be more effective with teens if intercourse is depicted as a natural and healthy activity that should happen at the right age and under the right circumstances.

The results of the study indicated that young women especially benefited from communicating about sex in a family atmosphere.

According to The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) another effective method for decreasing the rates of HIV contraction and transmission is STD testing.

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