CDC: More Teenage Boys Using Condoms

Birth control- it’s not just for girls anymore.
A study by the CDC indicates boys are taking a more proactive role in accountability when it comes to sex. Excerpt:

More teenagers are using a condom — by itself or along with a partner’s hormonal contraceptive — according to a new teen sex survey from the CDC.

The survey shows sexual activity and contraceptive use among U.S. teenagers have remained relatively stable over the last decade. But condoms gained among teenage boys as the preferred method.

Also, the teen birth rate has resumed a gradual decline that was briefly interrupted in 2005-2007.

“The slight increase from 2005 to 2007 generated concern that progress over the past two decades in reducing teen pregnancies could have stalled,” researcher Gladys Martinez, PhD, of the CDC’s division of vital statistics, and colleagues write in their report. “However, data for 2008 and 2009 show that the teen birth rate again declined from the rate in 2007.”

The study showed the teen birth rate for girls aged 15-19 was 39.1 births per 1,000 females in 2009. That’s 37% lower than its peak of 61.8 per 1,000 in 1991. Researchers say that is a historic low for the U.S., but still higher than many other developed countries, including Canada.

And that means that STD/HIV rates will be affected- for the better.

On a side note, I believe the surge in birth rates to be the direct result of Bush era abstinence-only education- something Denny Rehberg wants to bring back.

Sigh.

But a surge in personal responsibility on the part of people with penises? Applause.

Study: Simple Changes To Dating Sites Could Lower STD’s, HIV

Simple Changes to Dating Websites Could Decrease Spread of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Diseases

A study released today recommends eight ways to reduce transmission of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among men who meet male sex partners online.

Owners of popular dating and “hook-up” websites and users of those websites, along with HIV and STD program directors, agreed that a few simple measures could have a major impact on the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Among the online measures supported by a majority of those surveyed:

• Including “safe sex” as a profile option and allowing users to search for partners by such characteristics
• Providing directories of STD testing locations
• Sending automatic reminders to get an HIV/STD test at regular intervals chosen by users
• Having chat-rooms and other areas for HIV+ men looking for other HIV+ men
• Providing e-cards to notify partners of a potential exposure to STDs
• Posting videos that show men discussing safe sex, HIV status, and related issues
• Providing access to sexual health experts

“Finding sex and love online is here to stay,” said Dan Wohlfeiler, one of the study’s authors working with the California HIV/STD Prevention Training Center for this project. “This shows how we can work with the website owners to turn the internet into a force for the health of their users.”

In California, gay and bisexual men who were diagnosed with syphilis or gonorrhea most frequently reported the Internet as where they met sex partners.

More than 3000 users, 82 state and local HIV and STD Program directors and 18 owners of dating and “hook-up “ websites completed the survey.

Jen Hecht, Education Director at STOP AIDS Project and co-author, said “Since all three groups agree these strategies are important, can be done, and would be used, we need to be getting them online now.”

The study also found a number of strategies with less support. Website owners expressed skepticism about health department staff going online to notify users that they might have been exposed to an STD. In contrast, a majority of HIV and STD prevention directors and users thought this strategy was important. The authors are planning follow-up meetings with owners to further understand their concerns.“We have rising rates of STDs among gay and bisexual men and turning that around means everyone needs to take responsibility for their sexual health,” said Bill Smith, Executive Director of the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD). “This study shows how public health professionals, as well the users and owners of sex seeking websites, can band together to make a real difference in securing the sexual health of gay men.”

The study, entitled “How Can We Improve HIV and STD Prevention Online for MSM” funded by amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, was co-authored by H. Fisher Raymond and Willi McFarland at the San Francisco Department of Public Health. The results have been posted today at http://www.stopaids.org/online.