Recent statistics about youth sexual behaviors are at least a little alarming, with youth defining an age group from 13 to 24. Among this group, 41 percent reported having ever had sex, and 30 percent even reported having intercourse in the last three months.
The alarming part is some of the risky sexual behaviors these youth undertook. 43 percent didn’t use a condom, and 14 percent didn’t use any pregnancy prevention method.
Worse, 21 percent of these youth used alcohol or drugs before their last session of intercourse.
Furthermore, only 10 percent of students engaging in intercourse tested themselves for HIV.
The Demographics of Sexual Risk
Unfortunately, demographics play a huge role in risk. One startling fact is that individuals aged 13-24 were 21 percent of all new HIV diagnoses in 2016–a fact that many find surprising. Coupled with this, about half of new STDs reported were from this same group.
But at greatest risk are gay and bisexual males, who accounted for 81 percent of these diagnoses, indicating that they are simply a higher risk pool. For gay and bisexual males engaging in sexual behavior, extra caution is recommended when they undertake sexual encounters.
Teen pregnancy is another aspect of teen risk when it comes to sexual behaviors. In 2016, teenaged mothers had about 210,000 babies.
What Can Be Done?
The very least that can be done is education. Schools are the first line of defense, and have an obligation to make sure teens are well-educated about sex so that if they should choose to engage in it they can make smart decisions, such as using condoms or other forms of birth control, and getting themselves tested.
Other youth-facing organizations can also help. In particular, education about HIV is essential, as the STD with the most severe implications, and teens should know how the disease is transmitted and how it can be prevented.
Want to know more about STD’s, safe sex and testing? Call Capital Medical Associates today to schedule an appointment.