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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.


Spotlight On

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.

References

  1. CDC. Youth risk behavior surveillance—United States, 2011. MMWR 2012;61(SS-4).
  2. CDC. Diagnoses of HIV infection and AIDS in the United States and dependent areas, 2009. HIV Surveillance Report, Volume 21.
  3. 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. 
  4. Hamilton BE, Martin JA, Ventura SJ. Births: Preliminary data for 2009. National Vital Statistics Reports 2010;59(3).

 

 
 
HIV among U.S. Youth. View DASH's infographic

Working Together for an AIDS-free Generation www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns

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