Teen Sex Risks Unchanged from 2005-2007

August 4, 2008

Though high school students reduced sexual risk behaviors between 1991 and 2007, the prevalence of such behaviors remained unchanged between 2005 and 2007, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the Aug. 1 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

MONDAY, Aug. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Though high school students reduced sexual risk behaviors between 1991 and 2007, the prevalence of such behaviors remained unchanged between 2005 and 2007, according to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published in the Aug. 1 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Alexandra Balaji, Ph.D., of the CDC, and colleagues reported that between 1991 and 2007, the percentage of high schoolers who had ever had sexual intercourse fell from 54.1 to 47.8 percent; the prevalence of multiple sex partners fell from 18.7 to 14.9 percent; the prevalence of current sexual activity fell from 37.5 to 35 percent; and condom use in sexually active students increased from 46.2 to 61.5 percent. However, from 2005 to 2007, no significant change was seen in any of these measurements overall or in any racial or ethnic subgroup.

In another study from the same issue, also reported by Balaji, researchers report that in 2006, most secondary schools in a sample of 36 states and 13 large urban school districts included HIV prevention in a required health education course. However, relatively few taught all 11 HIV prevention topics listed in the questionnaire.

"The lack of recent change in the prevalence of HIV- and STD-related risk behaviors among high school students might have contributed to recent increases in related health outcomes," write the authors of an editorial note accompanying the first study, such as HIV and gonorrhea and birth rates in 15- to 19-year-olds. "Programs and activities aimed at addressing these health outcomes should involve parents and families, schools, youth-serving organizations, health care providers, the media, government agencies and youths themselves."

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