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Risk Awareness

Sexual Risks Many Teens Face

The teen years can be enjoyable ones. But there are also potential risks.

  • One-third of high school students say they've had sex by the time they are in ninth grade (around age 14) (CDC, 2004)
  • One out of four sexually active teens acquires a Sexually Transmitted Disease (CDC, 2000)
  • Girls represented 51% of HIV cases reported among 13–19 year olds in 2002 (CDC, 2002)
  • Among 15–17 year olds, 51% say they are personally concerned that they might  "do more" sexually than they planned to because they were drinking or using drugs (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2003)
  • More than a quarter (29%) of teens 15–17 report feeling pressure to have sex (Kaiser Family Foundation, 2001)
  • In 2005, 34% of currently sexually active high school students did not use a condom during their last sexual intercourse (CDC, 2006)

Studies show that it is very important to teach youth about the risks of sexual activity, such as unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease (STDs), including HIV infection. Parents are an excellent source to teach youth how to avoid or reduce these risks.

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The risks are real, even for teens who think  "it won't happen to me."

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