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Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month

May is National Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. The 2014 teen pregnancy rate for Alabama was 22.6 per 1,000 for females aged 10-19. This rate continues the positive downward trend of the last decade. There has been a 42% decrease since 2004 and a decrease of approximately 7% over the 2013 rate. However, Alabama youth continue to be at a higher risk than their national counterparts. In the 2013 Youth Risk Behavioral Survey (YRBS), 49.8% of Alabama teens reported ever having sexual intercourse. Nationally, 46.8% of surveyed teens reported ever having had sexual intercourse.

How can we continue this downward trend? The impact of strong pregnancy prevention messages directed to teens has been credited with the decline. The Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Branch continues the effort to reduce teen pregnancy and birth rates by providing the Abstinence Education Program and Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP). Additionally, teens consistently say that parents most influence their decisions about relationships and sex. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy provides 8 Tips for Talking to Your Teen to help you start the conversation at home.

Percentage of Teens Who Had Sex Continues to Decline

The Centers for Disease Control and Preventions (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) recent report titled, Sexual Activity, Contraceptive Use and Childbearing of Teenagers Aged 15-19 in the United States shows that the percentage of male and female teens who have had sexual intercourse at least once has declined in the 25-year period between 1988 and 2013. The report uses data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) to provide trends and recent national estimates of sexual activity, contraceptive use, and childbearing among teenagers.

Key findings of the report include:

  • In 20112013, 44% of female teenagers and 47% of male teenagers aged 1519 had experienced sexual intercourse; this represents a decline over the past 25 years, of 14% for female and 22% for male teenagers.
  • In the early teen years (ages 15-16) males were more likely than females to have had sexual intercourse. But the percentage of older teenagers (ages 17-19) who had sexual intercourse was similar for female and male teenagers.
  • In 2011-2013, 79% of female teens and 84% of male teens used a contraceptive method at first sexual intercourse. The percentages have not changed over time.
  • The condom remains the most common contraceptive method used among teenagers.
  • Young women who did not use a method of contraception at first sexual intercourse were twice as likely to become teen mothers as those who used a method.

BUB3 - Be You. Be 3: Smart, Strong and Safe

Be You. Be 3: Smart, Strong and Safe promotes being smart - knowing your body, options and the risks of sexual behavior; being strong - standing up for yourself and how you feel; and being safe - protecting yourself from getting pregnant or getting an STI/STD.

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