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HIV-Risk Behaviors Stable for U.S. High School Students

Wednesday, July 25 (HealthDay News) -- Using data from the CDC's National Youth Risk Behavior Surveys from 1991 to 2001, Laura Kann, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined trends overall and by race/ethnicity for HIV-related risk behavior among U.S. high school students.

The researchers found that, through the early 2000s, sexual risk behaviors declined among U.S. high school students, but progress subsequently stalled. From 1991 to 2001 there was a decrease in the proportion of U.S. high school students who had ever had sex (54 to 46 percent) or had had multiple partners (four or more; 19 to 14 percent); there was an increase in the proportion of students who used a condom last time they had sex (from 46 percent in 1991 to 63 percent in 2003). These proportions stabilized and were 47, 15, and 60 percent, respectively, in 2011. There was also a decrease in the proportion of students who had had sex within the preceding three months, from 38 percent in 1991 to 34 percent in 2011.

"Protecting the health of young people and accelerating progress in HIV prevention in this population will require building upon these and other efforts in homes, schools, and communities across the nation," the authors write. "Only by intensifying our collective efforts will we be able to achieve our shared goal of an AIDS-free generation."

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Although there were reductions in HIV-related risk behavior among U.S high school students from 1991 to the early 2000s, behaviors have subsequently stabilized, according to research published in the June 24 early-release issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity & Mortality Weekly Report to coincide with the International AIDS Conference, held from July 22 to 27 in Washington, D.C.

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