Black girls who use marijuana are more likely to engage in risky sexual acts and contract a sexually transmitted disease, a new study has found. Emory University public health researchers presented the findings - based on an analysis of the behaviors of nearly 500 sexually active black females aged between 15 and 21 - at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City.
The researchers found that black girls who used marijuana had significantly higher rates of incident STDs than non-marijuana users (32 percent compared to 23 percent). Additionally, marijuana users also had more sex partners and riskier sex partners.
"While adolescent African-American females remain a high-risk group for STDs, little research has examined their marijuana use, sexual behaviors and incidence of STD infection," says study co-author Ralph DiClemente. "Although no differences in condom use were identified between marijuana users and non-users, results suggest that marijuana users are engaging in sexual acts with riskier partners and under riskier circumstances, and had higher rates of STDs."
DiClemente recommends the introduction of STD and HIV intervention programs designed for adolescent black females that promote condom use as well as emphasize the risks of drug use and STD and HIV infection.
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Source: Emory University