All Articles Tagged "centers for disease control"
In a survey of nearly 5,000 teenage girls in 19 states who had unplanned pregnancies between 2004 through 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that about one-third of the girls didn’t use birth control because they didn’t believe they could get pregnant.
The CDC didn’t ask these teens to explain why they didn’t think they could get pregnant but the finding is certainly a slap in the face of sex education programs. Some common reasons teens give for why they didn’t think they could get pregnant is that it was their first time, they were menstruating, or they thought they were sterile.
Nearly half of the girls in the survey said they weren’t using any birth control when they got pregnant which is higher than surveys of teens in general. Typically, fewer than 20% say they didn’t use contraception the last time they had sex.
Access to birth control wasn’t a huge deterrent, only 13% of the girls said they didn’t use birth control because they had trouble getting it. Nearly 25% said they didn’t use protection because their partner didn’t want them to. Researchers say this fact illustrates the need for sex education classes to also share solutions for girls who feel pressured into doing something they don’t want to do.
Because the teen birth rate is at its lowest point in 70 years, Bill Albert, a spokesman for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, says it would be a mistake to come away from the report thinking, “They can’t figure this out?” He said”most of them are figuring it out,” but are they figuring it out fast enough?
Why do you think these same myths about the inability to get pregnant still follow teens?
Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.
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I don’t know about you, but pretty much any time I hear a new stat on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), I have the urge to run out and get tested. I could have literally just left the doctor’s office with the OK after a battery of tests and still feel the need to make sure I’m actually clean as a whistle.
The stigma, the thought of having to explain a sexually transmitted disease to a new partner, and the effect of an STD on my overall health weigh on my mind too heavily to do otherwise. And the idea that somewhere down the line a disease could prevent me from having children is a fear that shakes me when I think about possibly contracting an STD.
A new report from the Centers from Disease Control and Prevention shows that black people have the worst rates of STDs overall—even despite the recent drop in the spread of syphilis.
- Rates of Chlamydia among African-Americans are about 1,383 per 100,000, compared with 467 per 100,000 among Hispanics and 166 per 100,000 for whites.
- Rates of gonorrhea for whites are 26 per 100,000. Among Hispanics, rates are about three times that at 63 per 100,000, and among African Americans, the rates are 512 per 100,000.
- Rates of syphilis have fallen to 2.4 per 100,000 for whites, 5.9 per 100,000 Hispanics, and 20 per 100,000 for African Americans.
I think people tend to look at STDs the way I used to look at cancer. I know how prevalent cancer is, but because I never knew anyone personally affected by it until a few months ago, it was just an abstract concept. We hear about the rates of STDs and HIV in our community so much, but I think we don’t quite understand what those numbers mean. If we’ve gotten off the hook before with a disease scare, we’re probably even more likely to think it can’t happen to us or that there aren’t really as many infected people as there truly are.
But numbers don’t lie, and people in the African-American community are the most impacted by STDs of all groups.
Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director of the CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention, says the cause of the disparity is not racial. He told the press recently: “It’s not because someone is black or Hispanic or white that results in the differences that we see in STDs. It’s really what these represent in terms of differences in health insurance coverage, employment status, in ability to access preventive services or curative services. These are all factors which are going to have a huge impact on communities as well as individuals who are vulnerable to acquiring STDs or not getting them diagnosed early.”
(NY Times) — Whites in the United States die of drug overdoses more often than other ethnic groups. Blacks are hit proportionately harder by AIDS, strokes and heart disease. And American Indians tend to die in car crashes. To shed more light on the ills of America’s poor — and occasionally its rich — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday released its first report detailing racial disparities in a broad array of health problems. While some are well known, others have had little attention; there were also a few surprises. The agency did not delve into why suffering is so disproportionate, other than to note the obvious: that the poor, the uninsured and the less educated tend to live shorter, sicker lives. (Some illnesses were also broken down by income level, by region, by age or by sex, but the main focus was on racial differences.)