New York, NY — Today the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the 2013 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), which tracks a variety of health-risk behaviors among high school students, including sexual behaviors that contribute to unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV infection.
The report found that less than half (46.8%) of students had ever had sexual intercourse and 34% were currently sexually active. Among sexually active youth, 86.3% used some method of pregnancy prevention the last time they had sex, including 59.1% who used condoms. The vast majority (85.3%) of students also reported having been taught about AIDS or HIV in school.
Statement from Leslie Kantor, Vice President of Education at Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“This is good news. Rates of sexual activity continue to be low, young people are using condoms if they do have sex, and a majority of students are being taught about important topics, including HIV/AIDS. These data show that responsible behaviors, including waiting to have sex and using condoms, are the norm among teens.
“It’s vital that we continue to invest in sex education and services that allow young people to remain safe and healthy. Sex education works. Ensuring that young people have access to birth control works. When young people have accurate information and resources, they make responsible decisions.
“As a trusted provider of sex education and sexual and reproductive health services, Planned Parenthood knows firsthand that reaching young people with sex education equips them with the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy decisions. We must redouble our efforts to make sex education widespread in schools and online and increase access to essential health care services to keep young people healthy and safe.”
Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest provider of sex education, offers resources, guidance, and effective programs for teens and parents. Every year, Planned Parenthood provides education programs and outreach to 1.5 million people of all ages, and every day, Planned Parenthood works in schools and communities across the country to provide comprehensive sex education programs.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
June 13, 2014