July 2, 2004
For parents who want to talk to their children about sex but don’t know how to begin, an upcoming one-day conference could help.
The Real Life, Real Talk conference addresses the causes and effects of poor sexual health in the Valley.
It will focus on alarmingly high rates of teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases in minority communities.
The conference is sponsored by Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern Arizona, in cooperation with Arizona State University School of Social Work, The University of Arizona’s College of Medicine AIDS Education and Training Center, Maricopa County Office of Public Health, Black Nurses Association of the Greater Phoenix Area and Arizona companies.
This is the first conference of its kind in the Valley, said Britta Booth, director of education and outreach for Planned Parenthood.
The idea sprang from a black forum held last year to address similar issues, when participants suggested the problem of poor sexual health affects all cultures and ethnic groups, not just minorities.
"It’s a way for us to sit down as a community to address the disparities in our community," Booth said.
Arizona has the second highest teen pregnancy rate in the United States — Nevada is first.
Nationwide, Maricopa County has the sixth highest rate of gonorrhea infection and the eighth highest for syphilis, Booth said.
The conference offers sessions on "How to Talk to Your Kids About Sex," "Men’s Sexual Health," "HIV/AIDS in Our Communities," "Abstinence Education versus Comprehensive Sex Education," and others.
Lack of education and peer pressure are two of the factors leading to teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, said Tina Brown, outreach program manager for Planned Parenthood.
The conference education curriculum has been developed for parents, educators and community health workers to foster dialogue about sexual health.
Real Life, Real Talk conference
When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 15
Where: Arizona State University downtown Phoenix campus, 502 East Monroe St.
Registration: (602) 263-4231