More Awareness Needed To Address Black Girls’ Higher STI Rates, Opinion Piece Says
A recent CDC study that found that black teenage girls have "far greater rates of common" STIs, including human papillomavirus, chlamydia, herpes simplex virus and trichomoniasis than whites, is "an issue that blacks can't afford to ignore," Yolanda Young, host of the video blog spadeproject.com, writes in a USA Today opinion piece, adding, "We need more talking and less doing."
Reasons for the disparities in STI rates include the fact that many blacks are uninsured; "[s]exuality of teens starts earlier and earlier, heightened by music lyrics and images on television"; and STIs are more highly "concentrated in poor, segregated neighborhoods," Young writes.
Greater emphasis should be placed on STI screening, treatment, vaccinations and contraceptive services, according to Young. Although teens should take CDC's advice of either sexual abstinence, or "habitual condom use" and sex with an "uninfected monogamous partner," advice "isn't enough," Young writes, adding that because STIs "can also cause infertility and cervical cancer," the "significance of this problem can't be overstated" (Young, USA Today, 4/4). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.