Rates* of primary and secondary syphilis among adolescents aged 15--19 years, by sex and year --- Nationally Notifiable Disease Surveillance System, United States, 1997--2006
After a 14 year decline, a newly released study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows birth rates among teens increased in 2006 and 2007.
According to the study, improving trends in teens’ and young adults’ sexual and reproductive health has stalled and/or in some cases worsened.
By analyzing previously gathered data from several national health statistic sources on the sexual health of Americans ages 10-24. The agency notes some of the data has been reported previously.
Among the findings in the CDC's analysis of youth sexual and reproductive health:
One-third of adolescents hadn’t received instruction on birth control methods before age 18.
There were more than 744,000 pregnancies among teen girls younger than 20 in 2004 - about 16,000 were among girls aged 10 to 14.
Approximately 1 million teens and young adults aged 10--24 years reportedly had chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis. While one-quarter of females aged 15 to 19, and 45 percent of females aged 20 to 24 had human papillomavirus (HPV) infection during 2003-2004.
AIDS cases among males aged 15 to 24 increased from 1997 to 2006.
Read the CDC’s findings in its entirety, in this week’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
“The findings are worrisome and highlight concerns regarding the sexual and reproductive health of our nation’s young people,” Janet Collins, director of CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, said in a news release.
“After several years of improvement, it’s disconcerting to see progress has stalled in respect to teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases,” she said.
The study also found noticeable disparities in the sexual and reproductive health of young Americans. For instance, Hispanic teens aged 15 to19 (132.8 and 128.0 per 1,000 population) are significantly more likely than their non-Hispanic white peers (45.2 per 1,000 population) to become pregnant.
TeenSource offers the following advice to young adults: “It is very important to remember that most of the time you will never know if you are having sex with someone who has an STD. Anyone can get one. It has nothing to do with how "clean" someone is or how the person dresses and acts. Most people who get an STD, including HIV, do not know the person they are having sex with has one.”
Last but not least, abstinence is the safest way to avoid STDs. #