Sexual Risk Behavior: HIV, STD, & Teen Pregnancy Prevention
Many young people engage in sexual risk behaviors that can result in unintended health outcomes. For example, among U.S. high school students surveyed in 20111
- 47.4% had ever had sexual intercourse
- 33.7% had had sexual intercourse during the previous 3 months, and, of these
- 39.8% did not use a condom the last time they had sex
- 76.7% did not use birth control pills or Depo-Provera to prevent pregnancy the last time they had sex
- 15.3% had had sex with four or more people during their life
Sexual risk behaviors place adolescents at risk for HIV infection, other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and unintended pregnancy:
- An estimated 8,300 young people aged 13–24 years in the 40 states reporting to CDC had HIV infection in 20092
- Nearly half of the 19 million new STDs each year are among young people aged 15–24 years3
- More than 400,000 teen girls aged 15–19 years gave birth in 20094
To reduce sexual risk behaviors and related health problems among youth, schools and other youth-serving organizations can help young people adopt lifelong attitudes and behaviors that support their health and well-being—including behaviors that reduce their risk for HIV, other STDs, and unintended pregnancy.
CDC Programs & Initiatives
CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health addresses HIV, other STDS, and teen pregnancy through
Newest CDC Data on Teen HIV-related Risk Behaviors
describes CDC findings on differences in HIV-related behavior trends among racial/ethnic subgroups of adolescents.
Health Risks Among Sexual Minority Youth
describes the findings of a CDC study on health risks faced by lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents.
- CDC. Youth risk behavior surveillance—United States, 2011. MMWR 2012;61(SS-4).
- CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection and AIDS in the United States and dependent areas, 2009. HIV Surveillance Report, Volume 21.
- Weinstock H, Berman S, Cates W. Sexually transmitted diseases among American youth: incidence and prevalence estimates, 2000. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 2004;36(1):6-10.
- Hamilton BE, Martin JA, Ventura SJ. Births: Preliminary data for 2009. National Vital Statistics Reports 2010;59(3).
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