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Condom use among American teenagers

Oct 25, 1999

My question is how many teens between the ages of 15 and 19 use condoms as a prevetion method from STD's

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Thank you for your question.

Every year, there are 15 million cases of STDs in the United States alone, and 25% of cases these cases occur among teens and adolescents. That means that there are many teens who are not using condoms (otherwise, they would not have been infected with an STD in the first place).

You may be interested in reading the results of the 1997 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS). This survey is given to American teenagers and adolescents in certain high schools from around the USA. Some of the data from this survey you may find helpful. For example, from the 1997 survey:

Condom Use During Last Sexual Intercourse:

Among currently sexually active students, 56.8% reported that either they or their partner had used a condom during last sexual intercourse.

Male students (62.5%) were significantly more likely than female students (50.8%) to report condom use.

Black students (64.0%) were significantly more likely than white students (55.8%) and Hispanic students (48.3%) to report condom use.

For more information on the results collected from this survey, please go to the following webpages:

Summary of the results from the 1997 survey dealing specifically with sexual issues

Summary of the results from the 1997 survey on other health issues

A review about the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System in general

There are some limitations to this study:

1) These data apply only to youth who attend high school and, therefore, are not representative of all persons in this age group.

2) These data apply only to youth who were in school on the day of survey administration.

3) This survey was only given in certain American states, cities, and schools. Data collected from this survey may not apply to schools, cities, states, or countries where the survey was not given.

4) Responses may vary by a teenagers sexual orientation. This issue was not directly addressed in the survey.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).

Risk reduction campaigns: How effective are they?
Using condoms only part of the time

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