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Risky Sexual Behaviors Decreasing Among U.S. Teens
Date:7/31/2008

Condom use increasing, but many blacks, Hispanics, and males not getting message, CDC says,,

THURSDAY, July 31 (HealthDay News) -- In the past 17 years, there has been an overall decrease in risky sexual behaviors among U.S. teens, a new government study shows.

The rates of having sexual intercourse or multiple sex partners have been dropping, while the use of condoms has been increasing, U.S. health officials reported Thursday.

However, the rates of risky sexual behaviors among some groups, including blacks and Hispanic students, hasn't changed since the 1990s, according to this week's issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a publication of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"Progress has been made in the last 17 years in decreasing kids' risk for HIV- and STD-related infections," said study co-author Laura Kann, chief of CDC's Surveillance and Evaluation Research Branch in the Division of Adolescent School Health. "However, despite the positive changes, many students still engage in HIV- and STD-related risk behaviors."

Using data from the CDC's Youth Risk Behavior Surveys, Kann's team looked at sexual behavior among high school students from 1991 to 2007.

During that period, HIV-related sexual risk behaviors decreased. The prevalence of sexual experience dropped by 12 percent, from 54.1 percent to 47.8 percent; the prevalence of having multiple sexual partners decreased by 20 percent, from 18.7 percent to 14.9 percent; and the prevalence of current sexual activity went down 7 percent, from 37.5 percent to 35 percent.

In addition, the use of condoms among sexually active students increased 33 percent, from 46.2 percent to 61.5 percent, Kann said: "All that is good news."

But some groups haven't seen a decrease in risky sexual behavior, Kann added. "For example, black students still have the highest prevalence of sexual experience with mul
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