According to a new report from the CDC, Black people (particularly young Black people) and Hispanics contract sexually transmitted diseases at a much higher rate than whites.

While America is plagued by STDs at an alarming rate in general (19 million people, to be specific), Black people are grossly overrepresented in these statistics.

Young Black men are particularly at risk, dominating data related to syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Socioeconomic disadvantages like financial constraints and an inability to access adequate health care are likely to blame.

From The Root:

“‘Unfortunately, we are seeing a disproportionate burden of the STDs among African Americans and Hispanics and young people,’ Dr. Kevin Fenton, director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDs, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention, told The Root in a telephone interview. ‘These trends reflect the harsh realities of socioeconomic disadvantages that are taking place as a result of the economic downturn. The people contracting the diseases likely do not have access to health care. Other factors include employment. All of these things need to be addressed through education in the community.’

The stark results from 2010 data are as follows: While blacks represent just 14 percent of the population, they account for 35 percent of all reported chlamydia cases, nearly half of syphilis cases (48 percent) and almost three-quarters (69 percent) of gonorrhea cases.”

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What can we do about this epidemic in our community?

Is the Black community having the right kind of conversation with our youth

about sexual health?

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