Can "white" upper class teens get STD's ??

I didn’t see the racist angle in that show. I did see the “religion” is the answer angle, though, toward the end. I’m sure you are talking about the Frontline program that ran a few nights back.

And teens being clueless? No. Black, white, green with pink dots, kids today know the score. ANYONE on this planet that thinks you can “tell” by looking at someone if they have AIDS or herpes or even a god damn drinking problem needs to seek therapy.

I don’t think they were surprised so much by the outbreak (or that they were white kids) but that the sexual lines drawn between all the people were so deep. EVERYONE in that group was engaging in sex with EVERYONE. Man, I don’t know where you went to high school but that just wasn’t going on where I went to school!

That was the shocker. Not the disease itself. It was the rampant promiscuity that was shocking. I’m sure I’m not the only one who had sex in high school but God in short shorts, I wasn’t boffing twenty different guys!

I didn’t see the program, and you certainly can’t guess the odds of a new sexual partner having an STD. But it is true that there is a much higher rate of syphilis among young African Americans than among White Americans in general. Human Papillomavirus (some substrains of which apparently cause cervical cancer, the second most common malignancy of the female reproductive tract) is becoming more common in all groups.

JillGat – you didn’t see the program but you felt compelled to fling some statistics out at us? Gee, we’ve done this dance before. How accurate can those statistics be when folks like me don’t care to participate?

No major flame here but I’d like to know your source on this. And why you felt the need to bring it up here. Are you defending the racial angle? Or just sharing?

Thanks, Boris. Actually, I’m still kinda wondering what the actual question was. I don’t know if Dan wanted to get feedback on whether we thought the show was racist, or whether we felt whites didn’t get STDs or what. Or if he just wanted to vent.

Dan!! Come back!! Please clarify a little!

Byz: easy, there. I don’t think Jill was “flinging” anything. And she wasn’t commenting on the content of the television program, so it’s irrelevant whether she saw it or not.


Would we really be surprised if various VDs had different frequencies in different ethnic groups? Assuming that people associate partly based on ethnicity, and VDs are transferred by (a certain kind of) association, we shouldn’t really be surprised if the Hittites are riddled with herpes and the Ostrogoths carry a lot of syphilis.

Yes, we do need to treat allegations that such-and-such group is full of such-and-such disease with skepticism, but we should also be prepared to learn that sometimes there is a group dimension to these problems. It might be discouraging to learn this, but in a way it might make the epidemics easier to control - if the CDC learns that the Hittites like to do it iguana style, we might learn something about how the disease is transmitted.

Apologies to any Hittites I may have offended.

I have a little theory on teenage immortality. I hope it’s not too off base to post it here.

Engaging in risky behavior has a sort of snowball effect. You touch the stove once, and find out it hasn’t even !#!%# been turned on in the past two weeks, chances are you’re gonna touch it again. Especially if it feels good. (No, I am not suggesting that we all engage in lascivious behavior with large appliances, give me a moment here.)

Kids, in general, are lied to about the consequences of certain behaviors. Once they find out they’ve been lied to about one thing (the dangers of marijuana/ masturbation/ french fries) they are more likely to go on pushing those boundaries (cocaine/ casual sex/ fad diets) in search of the pilot light. By the time they finally make it to the meat of the substance and find out where the envelope ACTUALLY IS, it’s too f*cking late (crack head/ HIV+/ eating disorder).

It’s time to stop lying to kids.

Hear here, Mela. I think you’re right on. Clearly the people who have been lying to kids have been taking 'ludes with their bacon and eggs, and it has been turning them into incurable liars.

There was a comedian who did a good send up of this. Said something like, “Well, then, I must be on drugs because I don’t see anybody’s brain, I just see an egg and a frying pan! All this talk about drug dangers is getting me freaked out. I need a drink!”

Nothing I write about any person or group should be applied to a larger group.

Partial profile of me:

  1. Gay, 18 years old.
  2. Promiscuous.
  3. Well aware that one cannot tell who has an STD and who doesn’t by looking.
  4. Scrupulously safe.
  5. Recently tested negative for HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia.

Thank you very much.

[[JillGat – you didn’t see the program but you felt compelled to fling some statistics out at us? Gee, we’ve done this dance before. How accurate can those statistics be when folks like me don’t care to participate?
No major flame here but I’d like to know your source on this. And why you felt the need to bring it up here. Are you defending the racial angle? Or just sharing?]]

Not flinging, defending, justifying, or commenting on the show. Just commenting on the topic of the discussion. I’d be happy to give a source (or several) and more info. if you’re interested. There are probably a variety of reasons for the discrepancy between races when it comes to disease rates, and no one in the field of Public Health that I know of questions that it is so.

Hope those links work. If not, go to and do a search on “STD, race.” A large majority of people do complete the racial category box when they fill out health forms.

No C&P.

I see the issue is just as big a deal here as it is at Ground Zero – I could hit Rockdale County with a rock from where I’m sitting right now, pretty much.

For those of you not residents of north Georgia, it’s one of our more affluent whitebread suburbs.

The take on the 1996 syphilis outbreak that wound up having over 200 of Rockdale County’s finest high and middle school students treated for STDs has been interesting. If it’s not people complaining that we’re being shown in a bad light, it’s people asking where the children’s parents were when all this was going on.

Of course we’re being shown in a bad light, sex is always a good spicy topic and PBS is getting a lot of attention and making a lot of money off this program. In fact, the show has now been moved from their “educational only” list (where copies are only available to schools and similar buyers, for $54.95) to their retail outlet, where it’s available to anybody with $24.98 + tax and shipping. I’m sure it’s a huge seller.

I agree that children should not be having sex and no one should be exposed to an STD, but I do not understand what all the uproar is about, teens have been having sex since dirt was new and it’s no different now except that some of them can drive nice cars to the hotel rooms they rent with their own credit cards. I also note that some schools in Georgia have on site day care centers and I do not believe that Georgia is unique in that regard.

And mostly the parents were working; most of the activity happened after school and before their folks got home . . . or after their parents had gone to sleep. Of course, none of us adults ever sneaked out of the house when we were kids, either.

It was filmed in Rockdale County . . . but that story could be told anywhere.

In case your local PBS outlet is not like mine (the Frontline story ran at least twice last week and twice next week), see for yourself here: The Lost Children of Rockdale County

You may purchase the program here: Purchase tape online from PBS

your humble TubaDiva
who notes that damn near everything has a Georgia connection