NEW YORK, June 19 (UPI) -- A U.S. study found no change in teen sexual activity from 2003-2007, but also found a small decline in contraceptive use, researchers said.
Dr. John S. Santelli of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, in conjunction with researchers at Guttmacher Institute, said from 2003-2007, the progress made in the 1990s and early 2000s in improving teen contraceptive use and reducing teen pregnancy and childbearing stalled, and may even have reversed among certain groups of teens.
Between 1991-2003 teens' condom use increased while their use of no contraceptive method declined, leading to a decreased risk of pregnancy and to declines in teen pregnancy and childbearing.
The study, scheduled to be published in the July issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health, found the reversal in contraceptive use is consistent with increases in the teen birth rate in 2006 and 2007 as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and may portend further increases in teen pregnancies and births in 2008.
"After major improvements in teen contraceptive use in the 1990s and early 2000s, which led to significant declines in teen pregnancy, it is disheartening to see a reversal of such a positive trend," Santelli said in a statement. "Teens are still having sex, but it appears many are not taking the necessary steps to protect themselves from unwanted pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections."