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Critical Adolescent Health Issues - Sexual Health

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During adolescence there is much growth and development. Pubertal development, sexual identity, and dealing with sexual feelings are just a few of the changes occurring. By the end of adolescence, most youth have had sexual intercourse. The number of teens becoming pregnant is still an issue despite some decline in the rates. Sexualy Transmitted Diseases (STDs) and HIV are still occuring at high rates in the adolescent population.

Data on Adolescent Sexual Health

Youth (grades 9-12th) that have ever had sexual intercourse: 47.8 %

Youth who have had sexual intercourse with four or more persons during their life: 14.9%

Used a condom during last sexual intercourse (for students who were currently sexually active): 61.5 %

Youth who were ever taught in school about AIDS or HIV infection: 89.5%

Data source: 2007 YRBS, CDC

Relevant AAP Policies Statements and Clinical Reports

Sexuality Education for Children and Adolescents
Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health and Committee on Adolescence
Pediatrics 2001; 108: 498-502.

Sexual Orientation and Adolescents
Barbara L. Frankowski and Committee on Adolescence
Pediatrics 2004; 113: 1827-1832.
           
Contraception and Adolescents
Committee on Adolescence
Pediatrics 2007; 120 (5): 1135-1148.

Condom Use by Adolescents
Committee on Adolescence
Pediatrics 2001, 107 (6): 1463-1469

Emergency Contraception
Committee on Adolescence
Pediatrics 2005; 116: 1026-1035.

Adolescent Pregnancy: Current Trends and Issues
Jonathan D. Klein and the Committee on Adolescence
Pediatrics 2005; 116: 281-286.

Counseling the Adolescent About Pregnancy Options
Committee on Adolescence
Pediatrics, Vol. 101 No. 5, May 1998

Care of the Adolescent Sexual Assault Victim
Committee on Adolescence
Pediatrics 2001; 107: 1476-1479.

Reducing the Risk of HIV Infection Associated With Illicit Drug Use
Committee on Pediatric AIDS
Pediatrics 2006; 117: 566-571.

Adolescents and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection: The Role of the Pediatrician in Prevention and Intervention
Committee on Pediatric AIDS and Committee on Adolescence
Pediatrics 2001; 107: 188-190.

Identification and Care of HIV-Exposed and HIV-Infected Infants, Children, and Adolescents in Foster Care
Committee on Pediatric AIDS
Pediatrics 2000; 106: 149-153.

Education of Children With Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infection
Committee on Pediatric AIDS
Pediatrics 2000; 105: 1358-1360

The Committee on Pediatric AIDS (COPA) provides a full list of their statements.

Other AAP Resources

Availability of Adolescent Health Services and Confidentiality in Primary Care Practices
Akinbami LJ, Gandhi H, and Cheng TL.
Pediatrics, Vol. 111 No. 2 February 2003, pp. 394-401

Oral Versus Vaginal Sex Among Adolescents: Perceptions, Attitudes, and Behavior
Halpern-Felsher BL, Cornell JL, Kropp RY, et al.
Pediatrics, Vol. 115 No. 4 April 2005, pp. 845-851

Adolescent Sexual Behavior and Sexual Health
Sieving RE, Oliphant JA, and Blum RW.
Pediatrics in Review, Vol 23, No. 12, December 2002

Diagnosis and Management of Sexually Transmitted Disease Pathogens Among Adolescents
Burstein GR. and Murray PJ.
Pediatrics in Review, Vol. 24, No. 3, March 2003

Oral Contraceptives: Part 1
Polaneczky M.
Adolescent Health Update, Vol. 14, No. 3, July 2002
AAP Members can access back issues from the last four years of the Adolescent Health Update. This article can be accessed through the AAP publication, Caring for Adolescent Patients, 2nd Edition, Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2006.

Oral Contraceptives: Part 2
Polaneczky M.
Adolescent Health Update, Vol. 15, No. 1, October 2002
AAP Members can access back issues from the last four years of the Adolescent Health Update. This article can be accessed through the AAP publication, Caring for Adolescent Patients, 2nd Edition, Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics; 2006.

What’s New with Emergency Contraception: Questions and Answers
Gold MA.
Section on Adolescent Health Newsletter, Spring 2005

Preventing Sexual Violence: An educational toolkit for health care providers

Links to Additional Adolescent Sexual Health Resources

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists - providing information on adolescent reproductive and sexual health care
Healthy Teen Network
National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy
Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health
SEICUS (Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States)

The other critical adolescent health issues include:
Injury, Violence, Chronic Disease, Mental Health and Substance Abuse, and Mortality