Teen sexual behavior changed little in a decade

Strides made in the 90s to reduce risky sexual behavior among teens has largely plateaued, federal health data released today has found.

The data from the Centers for Disease Control National Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that many teenagers are using condoms and practicing other safe sex practices, but that more needs to be done to increase those numbers, health officials said.

The findings were released at the International AIDS conference. People under the age of 30 represent  four of every 10 new HIV infections.

The survey of public and private school students in grades 9-12 found that:

  • The percent of high school students who had ever had sex declined from 54 percent in 1991 to 46 percent in 2001 and stabilized to 47 percent in 2011
  • The proportion of students having sex in the last three months declined from 38 percent in 1991 to 34 percent in 2001.
  • The percent of students who had four or more sex partners decreased from 19 percent in 1991 to 14 percent in 2001 and stabilized at 15 percent in 2011.
  • Students who said they used condoms the last time they had sex increased from 46 percent in 1991 to 63 percent in 2003 to 60 percent in 2011.

One of the areas of improvement was among black students. The study found risky behavior among black students declined substantially, reducing the race gap among teens having sex.




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