August 5, 2008
CDC Reports Trend Towards Reduced Sexual Risk Behaviors Among High School Students Has Leveled Off
A recent CDC analysis published in the August 1, 2008 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports found that while significant improvements were reported in reducing sexual risk related behavior among US high school students from 1991-2007, a further analysis found that no significant changes were made during the 2005-2007 time period. The report analyzed data from the nine Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) conducted biennially since 1991. Specific improvements were noted in the declining percentage of high school students who ever had sexual intercourse (from 54.1% in 1991 to 47.8% in 2007); the decrease in the percentage of individuals who had had more than 4 sexual partners (from 18.7% to 14.9%) and the increase in condom use among sexually active students (from 46.2% to 61.5%). However, most of these improvements were made during the 1991-2005 period and no improvements in these three areas were noted for 2005-2007. Study authors postulate the lack of change may have contributed to recent increases in rates of HIV and STD infection and birth rates in high school aged teens. From 2003-2006, there was a 34% increase in HIV cases diagnosed for 15-19 year olds in 33 states. Gonorrhea infection rates have also been on the rise since 1999 from 421.9 per 100,000 to 458.8 per 100,000 in 2006. Birth rates among girls aged 15-19 years had decreased annually from 1991-2005 but increased for the first time during 2005-2006.
For more information, please visit the CDC report at