The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has just released a statement on the HIV-related statistics of American high schools students, and it turns out that the news is mostly good! Jeez, I love writing that.
The report says that the number of African-American teens engaging in high-risk sexual behavior has declined dramatically in the last 20 years; in 1991, black high schoolers were almost two-thirds more likely to have sex and almost three times as likely to report sleeping with multiple partners. As of 2011, the gap between black and white students on the sexually-active count has been cut in half, and the difference in the reports of multiple partners declined even more. Furthermore, at a condom use rate of 65%, black teenagers have also surpassed Hispanic (58%) and white teens (60%).
However, the news isn't all good: the overall number of teens engaging in these behaviors have plateaued, and the number of our country's students being educated about HIV and AIDS has actually declined by 8% over the last 14 years. Which surprises... wait for it... nobody, right? I didn't think so.
Leslie Kantor, vice president of education for Planned Parenthood, says in a statement regarding the CDC report:
These findings reflect a clear need for teens to have better access to comprehensive sex education in schools that addresses the needs of today's youth, coupled with increased access to health care services, including HIV testing... Clearly, this is not the time to reduce much needed access to sex education, testing or treatment services.
So let's just add that to the list of battles Planned Parenthood's fighting, shall we?
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