- September 12, 2012
- Jennifer Salerno
Do you have questions about abstinence (saying no to sex), condoms, birth control, HIV/AIDS, or sexually transmitted infections (STI)?
The increase in sexual experimentation that often occurs during adolescent years can have adverse consequences, such as sexually transmitted infections.
Did you know?
– In 2006, an estimated 5,259 young people between the ages of 13-24 in the 33 states reporting to the CDC were diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. This number represented about 14% of all persons diagnosed that year.
– African Americans are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS. In 2004, this population accounted for 55% of all new HIV infections reported among individuals ages 13-24.
– Minority youth also experience higher rates of STIs.
– There are approximately 19 million new STIs each year, and almost half of them are among adolescents ages 15-24.
These statistics are particularly alarming as access to sexual health education for U.S. students in declining. The percentage of high schools in which teachers taught students how to correctly use a condom in at least one required course decreased from 49.5% in 2000 to 38.5% in 2006.
Try these messages with youth:
- – Many people with sexually transmitted infections don’t even know they have it. Encourage testing at least once a year. If you are sexually active and haven’t been tested in the last three months, encourage testing.
- – There are many different types of birth control, including abstinence, so make sure to talk to your health care provider about which may be best for you.
Resources for youth and providers:
- – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides leadership in helping control the HIV/AIDS epidemic by working with community, state, national, and international partners in surveillance, research, and prevention and evaluation activities. Find a testing site, statistics, plans and further resources. Their hotline number is: 1.800.342.2437.
- – The National Resource Center for HIV/AIDS Prevention Among Adolescents supports adolescent service providers by providing web-based resources, evidence-based program information, and links to training and technical assistance to help prevent HIV/AIDS among adolescents.
- – National STD Hotline: 800-227-8922
- – National AIDS Hotline: 800-342-AIDS (2437)