Over the past decade or more, we have seen promising trends in the data measuring the sexual and reproductive health of adolescents and young adults. In surveys focused on the 10-24 year age group in the US, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has measured birth rates, new cases of HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, as well as risky sexual behaviors.
However, in the past few years, we are seeing some of the same-old problems starting to reappear:
- Birth rates that had declined from 1991-2005 have increased from 2005-2007
- New HIV diagnosis rates in men 15-19 years old have nearly doubled in the past ten years
- Declining rates of gonorrhea have slowed and leveled off
- Syphilis rates increased from 2004-2006 after steadily declining from 1997-2004.
(Visit Sexual and Reproductive Health of Persons Aged 10–24 Years report from the CDC for more details of this study.)
Public health researchers are working to evaluate these trends and the reasons behind them. BuckMD would like to hear from you – what do you think is happening with adolescents and young adults, and their risk behaviors? Post a comment and let’s start a discussion. Your identity will be strictly confidential.
Roger Miller, MD for BuckMD