Study: Fewer U.S. teens having sex

July 24, 2012 at 7:24 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 24 (UPI) -- The average age -- 16 -- at which U.S. teens begin having sex hasn't changed in about 20 years, federal health officials say.

Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told AIDS 2012, an international conference in Washington, the proportion of American high school students -- ages 14-17 -- who have ever had sex fell from 54 percent to 47 percent from 1991 and 2001, then hovered at that level until 2011, USA Today reported. Among blacks, those who said they had sex dropped from 82 percent to 60 percent.

The CDC researchers used data from the National Youth Risk Behavior Survey from 1991 to 2011.

More high-schoolers used birth control, the researchers found. Among all sexually active students, those who said they used a condom the last time they had sex increased from 46 percent to 60 percent, and among black students usage rose from 48 percent to 65 percent, the study said.

Kevin Fenton, director of CDC's National Center for HIV/AIDS/Viral Hepatitis, Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Tuberculosis Prevention, said new infections of human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS, has fallen from a mid-1990s peak to a plateau of about 50,000 a year during the last decade.

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