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CDC Releases YRBS Data, Teen Health Statistics Make No Progress

 

For Immediate Release                                                 Contact:  Patrick Malone
June 3, 2010                                                                  Phone: (202)265-2405
                                                                                        pmalone@siecus.org
 
 
New York, NY – Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance (YRBS).  The YRBS, which is released biennially, tracks different health risk behaviors, including sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancies and STDs, among high school students.  The 2009 YRBS surveyed more than 14,000 high school students from across the country.  The results for sexual behavior included the following:
 
  • 46.0% of students reported ever having had sexual intercourse (47.8% in 2007)
  • 5.9% of students reported having had sex before age 13 (7.1% in 2007)
  • 13.8% of students reported having had sex with four or more sexual partners (14.9% in 2007)
  • 34.2% of students reported being currently sexually active, defined as having had sexual intercourse in the three months prior to the survey (35.0% in 2007)
  • 61.1% of sexually active students reported that either they or their partner had used a condom during last sex (62.5% in 2007)
  • 87.0% of students reported having been taught about AIDS or HIV in school (89.5% in 2007)
 
“What we are seeing in these results is stagnation,” said Joseph DiNorcia, Jr., president and CEO of the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS).  “If these numbers are not improving significantly every year, we know that we are not getting the right messages out to young people.”
 
Between 1991, when the YRBS was first conducted, and 1999 there were sharp increases in positive sexual health behaviors and decreases in negative behaviors.  Since then, however, that progress has stalled or moved backward. Especially disturbing is the fact that, consistently over the past several years, about 10-15% of young people are not being taught about HIV and AIDS in school.
 
“Not only do we have a situation in which fewer young people were taught about HIV and AIDS in 2009 than in 2007, but we are also failing to reach more than one in ten students with any message about it in schools,” continued DiNorcia. “Every time the YRBS comes out and shows these flat numbers, we have to remember that it represents another two years gone by where young people are not getting the information and education they need to protect themselves.”
 
The full YRBS, including data on many other teen risk behaviors, can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/yrbs/index.htm.  For more information contact Patrick Malone at pmalone@siecus.org or (202)265-2405.
 

 

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