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UK Officials Post Shock Video of "Teen Birth"

May 28, 2009

A gritty video simulation of a schoolyard birth meant to deter teen pregnancy is capturing worldwide attention on the Internet.

Public health officials in Leicester, about 100 miles north of London, produced the 45-second video and published it on YouTube and Facebook, as well as on the Web site for the Leicester City Teenage Pregnancy and Parenthood Partnership. As of May 20th, the video had received more than 250,000 hits, organizers said.

Officials made no apologies for the frank, graphic nature of the video, which shows jeering, jostling teens looking on as a young woman helps a friend give birth. The video ends with the words: "Not what you expected? Being a teenage parent might not be either."

"Hairs on the back of my neck do stand up, but you know teenage pregnancy is a hard-hitting issue and we've got lots of teenage pregnancies in our city," said Liz Rodrigo, a public health specialist in Leicester.

Leicester City annually has about 50 conceptions per 1,000 girls between the ages of 15 and 17, eight more than the country's average. Britain's teen pregnancy rates are among the highest in Europe and on the rise in England and Wales.

Rodrigo said teens came up with the idea and later worked out the details in focus groups. Actors in the video are local students.

The teens suggested a shocking or funny approach to address teen pregnancy, she said, as opposed to the current methods they considered "preachy." The video was shot to appear that it was recorded on a cell phone, and is displayed in a cell phone graphic on the partnership's site.

Back to other news for May 2009

Adapted from:
Associated Press
05.20.2009; Nancy Zuckerbrod

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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
More News on HIV/AIDS in the United Kingdom



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