Good info, shamelessly borrowed from the American Social Health Association. No surprises, here…
Young people commonly engage in risky sexual behaviors (sex at a young age and/or unprotected sex) and increasingly are at risk for STDs and pregnancy, according to a report published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The report, Sexual and Reproductive Health of Persons Aged 10–24 Years — United States, 2002—2007, analyzes sexual health and behavior data from a number of surveillance systems. The latest findings indicate:
- A majority of 18 and 19 year olds (70.6% of females; 64.7% of males) report having had sex.
- Approximately 30% of males and females ages 15-17 say they have had sex.
- Roughly 30% of 15-19 years olds report having multiple partners.
More than two-thirds of adolescents say they’ve received guidance in using contraceptives, and nearly 70% of male and females ages 15-19 used condoms at first intercourse.
Still, sexually transmitted Infections (STIs) are increasing among young people, and the authors say the numbers may reflect the advent of better screening programs. Regardless, the news isn’t encouraging: In 2006, nearly 22,000 youth were living with HIV, and approximately 1 million had a reportable sexually transmitted infection (chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis).
Among adolescents and young adults, communities of color bear a disproportionate burden of STIs and teen pregnancy. Lynn Barclay, ASHA’s President and CEO, notes “We know there are economic barriers to STI care and prevention, but we should also be aware of the role discrimination and stigma play in driving this epidemic,” emphasizing that a “whole person” approach to sexual health is needed.