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Teens Do Better When Parents Talk About Sex

Open communication between parents and teens improves the likelihood of healthy sexual choices in teens. The issue is highlighted in the latest JAMA Pediatrics.

Another recent journal article shows few sexually active teens are screened for HIV infection.

University of Rochester Medical Center Pediatrician Geoffrey Weinberg says teens need to be taught about condoms, and not just to prevent HIV.

"We still have a problem with gonorrhea. We still have a problem with chlamydia in both men and women and condoms go a long way to preventing that. We’ve seen a resurgence of syphilis in some parts of New York and all of those conditions are prevented with condom usage," says Dr. Weinberg.

Teens and young adults are more likely to contract many sexually transmitted diseases.

"The best thing is to have open discussions, and to some extent you can guide them through better choices, but there’s always experimentation of young people and you can’t just bury your head in the sand about it," he says.