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Teen Health 411
Teen Health 411

HIV and African American Teens

It is not often you hear adults saying that teen girls need to talk more, but in fact, they need to talk more about HIV/AIDS, and adults need to talk with them! A recent op-ed by Janice Armstrong encouraged young black girls to stop having unprotected sex in the name of love - it is killing them!

AIDS is a preventable disease and the leading cause of death for African American females between the ages of 25 and 34. Nearly 70% of all new HIV infections in the United States between 2001 and 2004 were in black females, most of whom got it from their male partners. Black women are 19 times more likely to be infected with HIV than white women and 13 times more likely to die from the disease.

When we are talking to our friends and our daughters, it is important to remember that the things we are not saying, can kill us! Talk about condoms, HIV, and protection during sex - all types of sex - oral, anal, and vaginal. When talking about love, talk about protection!

Photo credit: Shavar

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About the Author

Dr. Brown is a developmental psychologist specializing in adolescent health.