Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 17:20 EDT

Teens and STDs: What Parents Need to Know

September 28, 2011

CHICAGO, Sept. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Chlamydia. HPV. Herpes. Gonorrhea. They’re not easy topics to bring up with your teen, but sexually transmitted disease (STD) rates are rising among adolescents. Nearly half of all new STD cases are in young people between the ages of 15 and 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

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Parents can help slow the rise in STD rates by talking to teens about STDs, STD prevention and the importance of STD testing – but first they need to have the facts. BeSmartBeWell.com prepares parents to talk to their kids about STDs by offering a variety of expert interviews, life story videos and resources. Watch the video What Can I Do About It?

“I think sometimes parents are petrified that their children are going to ask them a question and they won’t know the answer, so they don’t want to talk about it,” says Renee Jenkins, MD, past president of the American Academy of Pediatrics and one of the experts featured on BeSmartBeWell.com. “So get educated.”

Misconceptions, misunderstandings

According to a study published earlier this year in the medical journal Pediatrics , 6 percent of young people testing positive for an STD said they never had sex. This finding suggests that some young adults do not understand how people catch STDs and that they can catch certain STDs without ever having intercourse.

BeSmartBeWell.com highlights the misunderstandings and misconceptions with Street Stories, a short video of real people answering simple questions about STDs.

Where can I learn more?

BeSmartBeWell.com/STD is a website that features video interviews with some of the nation’s leading health experts, as well as real people living with STDs. Parents will also find resources and tips for when and how to start a conversation about sex and safe relationships.

STDs do not always have symptoms, so it is important that sexually active people, including teens, receive periodic STD screening or they risk developing complications and infecting others. BeSmartBeWell.com simplifies STD testing for teens and parents by providing information about the testing process and links to local testing centers. Just enter a zip code into a tool on the site and the CDC will provide the closest testing facility.

Parents can also register for the monthly Spotlight Newsletter and News Alerts for in-depth articles and breaking news on important health topics. For information about other family-focused health topics–including childhood obesity, childhood asthma and teen dating violence-and to see more life stories, visit BeSmartBeWell.com.

About Be Smart. Be Well.

BeSmartBeWell.com is sponsored by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, Divisions of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

SOURCE BeSmartBeWell.com

Source: PR Newswire