Friday, June 6, 2008

Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance data for 2007 is available

The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System, YRBS for short, has been conducted every 2 years since 1991 and aims to describe the health related behaviors of high school students in the United States. This year for the first time some trend analysis is allowing us to see changes in risk behavior for three racial groups, African Americans, Hispanic or latinos and whites.

The study found decreases in key sexual risk behaviors among several groups:
  • Decreases occurred overall in the percentage of black students who has ever had sexual intercourse (66 percent in 2007; 82 percent in 1991); and who had sex with four or more people during their lifetime (28 percent in 2007; 43 percent in 1991.)
  • Decreases occurred in the percentage of white students who had ever had sexual intercourse - 44 percent in 2007; 50 percent in 1991; and who had had sex with four or more people in their lifetime - 12 percent in 2007; 15 percent in 1991.
Additionally, Latino students reported less exposure to comprehensive sex education that included information about HIV and AIDS, and also had lower rates of condom use than other groups. The telebriefing explains some of why this might be and makes for interesting reading.

You can read a transcript of the telebriefing from June 4th, and also check out fact sheets, methodology, comprehensive results, etc. And here is the press release for the boiled down version.

These data are an invaluable resource for anyone working on improving the health status of youth in this country.

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