Almost half of U.S. teens have had sex

April 5, 2011 at 2:49 PM
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ATLANTA, April 5 (UPI) -- About 46 percent of U.S. teens say they have had sexual intercourse, with at least 10 percent saying they don't use any birth control, health officials say.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Vital Signs report says about 14 percent of sexually active teen girls and 10 percent of teen boys report they do not use any form of birth control.

"Though we have made progress in reducing teen pregnancy over the past 20 years -- teen pregnancy has decreased by 37 percent in the last two decades -- still far too many teens are having babies," Dr. Thomas R. Frieden, director of the CDC, says in a statement.

Fifty-eight percent of black teenage girls say they have had sex, 45 percent of Hispanic teenage girls say they have had sex and 45 percent of white teen girls say they have had sex. However, 72 percent of black teen males say they have had sex, compared with 53 percent of Hispanic teen males and 40 percent of white teen males.

The CDC recommends:

-- Sex education that provides accurate information.

-- Parents and teens communicate more effectively with each other about sex and teen birth.

-- Sexually active teens have access to affordable and effective birth control.

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