A recent report from the University of Oregon suggests that open and honest dialogue about sex and STDs is crucial to lowering the rates of STDs amongst black youth.

While condom availability and usage is crucial to fighting infection rates, simply conversing with young people about these issues (with accurate information) would make a huge difference.

We need to arm them with the information they need to make better choices.

From BET:

“They came up with this conclusion by interviewing African-American teens ages 15-17 in Chicago and San Francisco. They found that the study’s participants were confused by the mixed messages and misinformation they were getting from pop culture, peers and media. And while the Internet is booming with trustworthy websites with science-based information, the teens stated that they don’t necessarily trust the Web’s advice and information on safer sex. They claimed the information wasn’t ‘reliable.’

‘We need more collaboration between family, schools, medical clinics, churches, and other entities that traditionally may not have worked together,’ lead author Margaret Dolcini, an associate professor in the OSU School of Social and Behavioral Health Sciences told Science Daily. She added, ‘This is possible, and we should encourage more of it. We wouldn’t necessarily expect a church to offer condom demonstrations, but a community clinic or school sex education program might do exactly that. And there’s a place for both.'”

A solution to this issue is desperately needed.

Black youth are at a greater risk of contracting STDs than their peers.

“Blacks accounted for 71 percent of reported gonorrhea cases and almost half of all chlamydia and syphilis cases. To make matters worse, data estimates that African-American youth from low-incomes families are 10 times more likely to contract an STD compared to their white counterparts.”

Read more at BET.com

As a community, are we perpetuating misinformation about sex and STDs?

Why are we afraid of having honest conversations about these issues with young people?

Sound off below!