11 Facts About Sexual Health in Teens in the US

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  1. “Sexual health” is a state of physical, emotional, mental, and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction, or infirmity.^[World Health Organization. “Defining sexual health. Report of a technical consultation on sexual health 28-31 January 2002, Geneva” Geneva: World Health Organization, 2006. .]
  2. In 2013, nearly half (46.8%) of all high school students reported ever having sexual intercourse.^[CDC. Youth risk behavior surveillance—United States, 2011. MMWR 2012;61(SS-4). .]
  3. The only way to make sure that you are physically fit in terms of sexual health is to get tested regularly! Get HIV tested and encourage others to do the same on Instagram. Sign up for Update Your Status.^[Healthline. "STD Testing." Healthline. Accessed March 10, 2015. .]
  4. Among sexually experienced teens, 70% of females and 56% of males report that their first sexual experience was with a steady partner, while 16% of females and 28% of males report first having sex with someone they had just met or who was just a friend.^[Martinez G et al., Teenagers in the United States: sexual activity, contraceptive use, and childbearing, 2006–2010 National Survey of Family Growth, Vital and Health Statistics, 2011, Series 23, No. 31. .]
  5. A sexually active teen who does not use contraceptives has a 90% chance of becoming pregnant within a year.^[Not Just for Girls: The Roles of Boys and Men in Teen Pregnancy, K.A. Moore and A. Driscoll, The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, Washington, DC, 1997. Print.]
  6. No state explicitly requires parental consent or notification for contraceptive services. However, two states (Texas and Utah) require parental consent for contraceptive services paid for with state funds.^[Guttmacher Institute, Minors’ access to contraceptive services, State Policies in Brief (as of May 2013), 2013, , accessed May 20, 2013.]
  7. Although 15- to 24-year-olds represent only 1/4 of the sexually active population, they account for nearly half (9.1 million) of the 18.9 million new cases of STIs each year.^[Weinstock H et al., Sexually transmitted diseases among American youth: incidence and prevalence estimates, 2000, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2004, 36(1):6–10. .]
  8. As of May 2014, laws in 38 states required that a minor seeking an abortion involve her parents in the decision.^[Guttmacher Institute, Parental involvement in minors’ abortions, State Policies in Brief (as of May 2014), 2014 , accessed May 1, 2014.]
  9. Advocates for Youth National School Condom Availability Clearinghouse has found 418 public schools in the US that make condoms available to students.^[Advocates For Youth . Unpublished data from the School Condom Availability Clearinghouse. Washington, DC: Advocates, 1997. .]
  10. In 1997, one-half of all new HIV infections in the United States occurred in people under the age of 25. 1 in 4 new HIV infections in the US occurs in people under the age of 22.^[Collins C. Dangerous Inhibitions: How America Is Letting AIDS Become an Epidemic of the Young. San Francisco, CA: Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, University of California, 1997. .]
  11. By their 19th birthday, 7 out of 10 teens have engaged in sexual intercourse.^[Abma JC et al., Teenagers in the United States: sexual activity, contraceptive use, and childbearing, National Survey of Family Growth 2006–2008, Vital and Health Statistics, 2010, Series 23, No. 30. .]

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