Posts Tagged ‘ sex education ’

Doctors Urge Schools to Make Condoms Avaialble to Teens

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

In an updated policy statement, its first since 2001, the American Academy of Pediatrics is recommending that schools make condoms available to teenagers alongside providing instruction on sexual education topics.  More from Reuters:

There is still some resistance to making condoms more accessible for young people, researchers said.

“I think one of the main issues is the idea that if you provide condoms and make them accessible, kids will be more likely to have sex. But really, that’s not the case,” Amy Bleakley said.

“Getting over the perception that giving condoms out will make kids have sex is a real barrier for parents and school administrators,” she told Reuters Health.

Bleakley studies teen sexual behavior and reproductive health at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia but wasn’t part of the AAP committee.

She said some studies suggest teenagers with access to condoms and comprehensive sex education actually start having sex later than their peers who don’t.

Teen birth rates have been declining in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2011, there were 31 births for every 1,000 U.S. women aged 15 to 19.

But that number is still higher than in other developed countries.

Rates of many sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including Chlamydia and gonorrhea, are also highest among teenage and young adult women.

Image: Condoms, via Shutterstock

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AIDS Cases Rising Among U.S. Teens, CDC Reports

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed this week that the AIDS epidemic is “alive and well” in the U.S., mostly among teenaged boys and young men ages 13-24 who are engaging in risky sexual behaviors often fueled by drugs or alcohol. NBC News has more:

“The CDC estimates that 12,200 young men and women aged 13 to 24 became infected with HIV in 2010. And by far most of them were boys and men. Nearly three-quarters were boys and men having sex with other men. And more than half of the newly infected youths were African American.

The report “really provides shocking data on the higher rate of risky behavior and the lower rate of condom use” among young men, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden told reporters on a conference call.

The report finds that just 13 percent of high school students have been tested for the virus and just 35 percent of 18 to 24 year olds have been.

“Young gay and bisexual men report much higher levels of risky sexual behavior than their heterosexual peers,” Frieden said. They are more likely to have multiple sex partners, use drugs and alcohol before sex – which makes them in turn more likely to skip using condoms and tsake on other risks, too.

A separate CDC survey of high school kids and young adults found that young gay and bisexual men were more likely to report having had sex with four or more partners. They were also more likely to have injected drugs – another risk factor for AIDS, although most are infected sexually.

The answer, the CDC says, is a combination of testing, treatment and good sex education in schools.”

Image: Teenage boy, via Shutterstock

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Tags: , , , | Categories: Child Health, Trends

Morning-After Pills Offered to NYC High School Students

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012

Thirteen public high schools in New York City offer “morning-after” contraceptive pills to girls in a program that has not gotten a lot of attention.  NBC News reports:

The program, called CATCH, or Connecting Adolescents To Comprehensive Healthcare, is aimed at reducing unplanned teen pregnancy. It began in January 2011, but wasn’t publicized until the New York Post reported it over the weekend.

“In any given every year there are about 7,000 pregnancies to girls ages 15 to 17 in New York City, about 90 percent of those are unintended,” said Deborah Kaplan, assistant commissioner at the city health department’s Bureau of Maternal, Infant and Reproductive Health. “We wanted to make sure young people who are sexually active have easy access to contraceptive services and general reproductive health services.”

Oral contraceptives, including the morning-after Plan B pill, have been available to students at most of the 40 schools that have school-based health centers for the last one to four years, depending on the school, Kaplan said. The centers, which serve about one-quarter of New York City’s public high school students, provide primary care health services and are run privately by separate institutions like hospitals.

For the first time, with the CATCH program, the Health Department is making the contraceptives available in schools without the private health centers. The program began in January 2011 in five schools, and is now in 13 schools. The schools were chosen because they are in neighborhoods with high teen pregnancy rates or with limited resources for young people to get contraception. City high schools have long provided condoms.

Image: Girl with nurse, via Shutterstock

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CDC: U.S. Teen Birth Rate Falls Yet Again

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

Fewer babies were born to teen mothers in 2010 than in the previous three years, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found.  Nearly every state experienced a drop, with Arizona showing the most marked change–29 percent between 2007 and 2010.

Since 1991, the overall teen birth rate in the United States has dropped an astounding 44 percent, according to the report.

Mississippi recorded the highest rate of teen births in the nation–55 out of every 1,000 births in the state.  New Hampshire boasts the lowest number, 15.7 births per 1,000.

Experts have cited reasons ranging from a poor economy to better sex education in accounting for the decline.

Image: Pregnant belly, via Shutterstock.

 

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CDC: Teen Moms Uneducated About Pregnancy Risk

Friday, January 20th, 2012

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that one-third of teenage mothers didn’t use birth control because they didn’t think they could get pregnant.  From The Associated Press:

What were they thinking, exactly, isn’t clear. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey didn’t ask teens to explain their reasoning.

But other researchers have talked to teen moms who believed they couldn’t get pregnant the first time they had sex, didn’t think they could get pregnant at that time of the month or thought they were sterile.

“This report underscores how much misperception, ambivalence and magical thinking put teens at risk for unintended pregnancy,” said Bill Albert, a spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.

This summer, a national statistical report showed a drop in teen pregnancy rates for the second year in a row, to a rate of 20.1 babies per 1,000 girls ages 15 to 17.

Image: Pregnant woman’s belly, via Shutterstock

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