Young People Should Have Free Access To Condoms And Sexual Health Education

In the opinion of doctors, An AAP study has found that sexually transmitted illnesses and unplanned pregnancies are “major public health issues” for youth. Access to barrier protection techniques and comprehensive sex education are beneficial strategies for preventing unwanted sexual advances.

Based on the report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the 2017 birth rate for 15–19-year-olds was 18.8 infants for every 1,000 15–19-year-old women. Despite these encouraging figures (STIs), adolescents are still placing themselves at risk for unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted illnesses, despite these promising figures (STIs).

The report of an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) paper titled “Barrier Protection Use by Adolescents During Sexual Activity,” published in July 2020 in Pediatrics, says, “STIs, particularly new HIV infections, and unplanned pregnancies among adolescents remain serious public health problems.”

According to the CDC, half of all new STI diagnoses occur in adults between 15 and 24. Furthermore, nearly a quarter of sexually active girls in this age range have been diagnosed with an STI, such as HPV or chlamydia.

Birth control and thorough sex education may be the key to halting this trend. Medical professionals must regularly address adolescents’ sexual and reproductive health, including those with developmental or physical disabilities, by obtaining a patient’s sexual history and discussing healthy relationships with others. They should also conduct a physical examination and offer age-appropriate guidance and administer appropriate screenings and vaccination.

Regarding sexually active adolescents, physicians should talk to them about the use of barrier techniques such as external male and female condoms and oral dental dams. Additionally, they can “urge parents to talk about these concerns” with their children. In addition, “pediatricians and other physicians may give barrier education and free barrier methods within their offices and support initiatives to improve availability within their communities,” states the paper.

Other kinds of birth control may be more efficient at preventing unplanned pregnancies. However, Hormonal tablets and “long-acting reversible contraception” like IUDs and hormonal implants are examples of this class (Nexplanon). The CDC, the American Academy of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend these treatments because of their high effectiveness and low risk of side effects.

Unfortunately, many teenagers are not entirely informed about these long-acting reversible contraception—possibly because health care practitioners do not give them enough attention during counseling. According to the AAP, just 2% to 3% of currently sexually active teens use these birth control methods.

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