Less Sex, More Condoms for Today's Black Teens

African-American teenagers have less sex and use condoms more than they did 20 years ago, the CDC reports.

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A new survey suggests that black teenagers are having sex at exceedingly lower numbers than they did 20 years ago, according to U.S. News & World Report

While the numbers of Latino and white teenagers who report being sexually active has remained relatively stable over the past two decades, the percentage of black teens who report being sexually active has dropped from more than 80 percent in 1991 to 60 percent in 2011, according to a recent study on teen sex by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

Sixty-five percent of sexually active black teenagers surveyed also report using condoms during sex, compared with 46 percent of black teens in 1991. Today sexually active black teens are more likely than the other teen groups surveyed to wear condoms during sex. While the study points to changing rates of sexual activity and condom use among black teens, the study falls short of explaining the behavioral changes behind the dwindling numbers. 

"This tells us what kids do, but not why," Laura Kahn, author of the study, told U.S. News & World Report.

Some, including Dr. David Katz, director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center, say that while the lower numbers are good, unsafe sex is unsafe sex -- and teenagers are still having it. "A very large population of our young people remains vulnerable to all of the perils of unprotected sex, HIV included," Katz told U.S. News & World Report. "So this report is not a cause for celebration. It tells of a job that can be done when we address it well, and of a mission far from accomplished that deserves our more devoted attention."

Read more at U.S. News & World Report.

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