According to the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday, risky sexual behavior amongst black youth has significantly declined in the past 20 years.
Researchers assert that although black youth show higher rates of these behaviors than peers, the decline is a sign that prevention measures and sexual education are working.
“In 1991, 82 percent of black students said they had had sex, and that figure declined to 60 percent by 2011. The number who reported multiple sexual partners fell from 43 percent to 25 percent.
In that same period, the proportion of white students who reported ever having sex fell from 50 percent to 44 percent, and those who said they had multiple partners fell from 15 percent to 13 percent.
At the same time, Hispanic students have seen little change in the number who reported having had sex – from 53 percent in 1991 to 49 percent in 2011 – or who said they have had multiple sex partners.
‘At a time when we know there are tremendous health inequities associated with HIV, data that suggests that we are moving in the right direction to reduce some of these inequities – that’s a good-news story and we need to learn why this is occurring and see what more we can do to support that trend,’ he told Reuters.”
While the report shows progress, budget cutbacks have resulted in fewer and fewer high school students learning about HIV prevention and taking sexual education.
This, and complacency, poses a serious threat to that progress.
What are your thoughts on this survey?
How can we further reduce rates of risky sexual behaviors amongst youth?
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