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APHA Scientific Session and Event Listing

Generation Sex: STI education and prevention

Jessi L. Westling and Dana K. McCurdy. Department of Public Health Sciences & Epidemiology, University of Hawaii, 1960 East West Road, C105, Honolulu, HI 96822, 808-956-2752, jllinn@hawaii.edu

The 2007 proposed US budget designates $204 million for abstinence-only education, $188 million for state, faith-based, and community organizations to combat the spread of HIV/AIDS through testing and treatment, and no money for comprehensive sex education. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and AIDS had the highest incidence rates of all notifiable infectious diseases in 2003, with the majority of new cases occurring among people aged 15-24. Observed teenage sexual behaviors were related to the presence of HIV/AIDS education in schools. Four items from the 2003 National Youth Risk Behavioral Surveillance System (YRBSS) (n=15,214) regarding sexual behavior, contraceptive methods, number of partners, and HIV/AIDS education at school were analyzed. Results show that 45.9% of participants in the YRBSS are sexually active, and of those who are sexually active, 66.7% have had more than one partner before age 18 (n=4654). Furthermore, teenagers who do not receive education on HIV/AIDS at school are more likely to have multiple sexual partners before age 18 [χ2=17.4027, df=1, p<0.001]. Of those with multiple partners, only 56.1% used condoms during their last sexual encounter, 13.9% used no contraception method, 8.6% used the withdrawal method, and 16.2% used other contraceptives that do not protect against sexually transmitted infections (STI) (such as the Pill and Depo Provera). Receiving no HIV education is correlated with having multiple partners, which in turn is correlated with riskier sexual behaviors that do not protect against STIs. Policy regarding sex education in schools needs to acknowledge current data by supporting comprehensive STI education and prevention techniques.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session the participant will be able to

Keywords: Sexual Behavior, STD Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Not Answered

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The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA