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CDC HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update

MARYLAND: STD Rates High Among Shore Teens




 

Delmarva Daily Times (Salisbury) (04.15.12) - Monday, April

STD rates among Wicomico County teens are among the highest in the state. Michael Charlton, a county supervisor, is responsible for implementing a state-determined sex education curriculum that works to dispel misinformation and teach teens how to avoid STDs and pregnancy.

"We teach other prevention methods, but the main theme that runs through our curriculum is making sure that abstinence is perceived by the student as No. 1," Charlton said. While the instruction is taught primarily at the high-school level, eighth-graders also get a basic understanding of the subject.

Parents have the option of removing their teens from the lessons dealing with safe sex. Charlton estimates that less than 5 percent of students are pulled out of the class.

The Wicomico County Health Department does targeted STD testing of 15- to 19-year-olds. Health Services Specialist Beebe Triplett said, "We target our testing services to those groups of people who are more likely to be at risk, so adolescents, teenagers, and young adults." The health department works with public schools to help teens who need testing or who want more information.

The department also works to address rumors about sex. "It's a myth that young people who may have [an STD] would have signs or symptoms," Triplett said. "I hear that [rumor] a lot. 'I would know if I have [an STD].'" The Board of Education recently approved "Straight Talk - The Truth about STDs," a 30-minute video to support the 10th grade health education curriculum.



 


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Information in this article was accurate in April 23, 2012. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.