- 50% of new HIV infections in the U.S. occur in persons under 25. (Source: CDC http://www.cdc.gov/std/life-stages-populations/msm.htm)
- Despite decades of CSE, safer sex programs, free condoms, and testing, the incidence of HIV in 13-24 year old women is increasing. The CDC states “this age group has more recently initiated high-risk behaviors…including earlier sexual debut and more lifetime sexual partners.” (Source: Miriam Grossman, M.D. in her book “You’re Teaching My Child What?” p. 141)
- Young people, especially blacks, are particularly hard hit by HIV. According to the CDC, among youth in 2010:
- African American accounted for about 57 percent (7,000) of all new HIV infections.
- Hispanic/Latino youth accounted for 20 percent (2,390)
- White youth accounted for 20 percent (2,380).
Overall, young adults made up 17 percent of the U.S. population in 2010 but more than a quarter of all new HIV diagnoses, the CDC noted. Gay and bisexual young men are most likely to get infected, but 27 percent of new infections are in females and heterosexual males. (Source: HIV Testing Rates Still Low Among Teens, Young Adults: CDC (January 19, 2016) Medline Plus https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_156776.html)
Proof that Sexual Risk Avoidance (SRA) Programs are Working
Heritage Keepers: A year after receiving the program, students initiated sex at a rate 67 lower than well-matched comparison students. (Source: Weed, S. E., Birch, P. J., Ericksen, I. H., & Olsen, J.A. (2011). Testing a predictive model of youth sexual intercourse initiation. Submitted for publication.)
Choosing the Best: Virgin students who received the program were nearly 1.5 times more likely to delay the onset of sex than virgins in the control group at the post-test measurement at the end of ninth grade. (Source: Lieberman, L., Su, H.(2012). Impact of the Choosing the Best program in communities committed to abstinence education. Sage Open. http://www.choosingthebest.org/docs/CTB_ Published_Research-SAGE_Publications.pdf)
PEERS Project: Each year the SRA abstinence education program was presented, it was associated with a nearly 1.5 percent increase in standard achievement test pass rates. (Source: Ferraro, L.F., Pressler, K.A. (2011). Do abstinence education programs influence high school academic performance? Am. Journal of Health Studies. 26 (4): 230-235.)
WAIT Training: Middle school students who participated in the program were 3.5 times more likely to delay sexual activity and reported fewer multiple partners one year after receiving the program in their health classes as compared to average behaviors from a neighboring community without the program. (Source: Rue, L.A, Chandran, R., Pannu, A., Bruce, D., Singh, R., & Traxler, K. (2012). Evaluation of an abstinence based intervention for middle school students. Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences 104, (3), 32-40).
U. of Pennsylvania Study of Inner City Youth: Only the abstinence intervention significantly reduced sexual initiation:
- Of students in the control group, 46.6 percent initiated sex. Christian Medical Association www.cmda.org Page 9 of 17
- Of students who had received the abstinence intervention, 32.6 percent initiated sex.
- Of students who had received “comprehensive” sex education, 41.8 percent initiated sex.
- Of students who had received “safer sex” education, 51.8 percent initiated sex.
(Source: Jemmott, J. B., Jemmott, L. S., Fong, G. T. (2010). Efficacy of a theory-based abstinence-only intervention over 24 months. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2010;164(2):152-159.)
Reasons of the Heart: Youth who participated in the L.I. Teen Freedom program were nearly 3 1⁄2 times (OR) more likely than average to maintain sexual abstinence 12 months after participating in the program. (Source: Rue, L.A, Chandran, R., Pannu, A., Bruce, D., Singh, R.(2010). Estimate of Program Effects, L.I. Teen Freedom Program).
Game Plan/Aspire: After six months, program students were nearly four times more likely to remain abstinent than the control group who did not receive the program. (Source: Educational Evaluators, Inc. 2011. Tesoros de Esperanza. CBAE Evaluation Report during the 2008- 2009 project year).
Earle School District: Since the program began, incidence of teen pregnancy reduced in the senior class of the study school by 80 percent. (Source: Rue, L. A., Rogers, J., Kinder ,E. ,Bruce ,D.(2009). Summative Evaluation: Abstinence Education Program. -Impact Evaluation submitted to Department of Health and Human Services, Grant # 90AE0219).
Arkansas Title V Funded Programs: Sexually experienced teens who received the program were about twice as likely to be sexually abstinent one year later than those who did not receive the program. (Source: Birch P. and Weed S. (2008). Phase V Final Report: Delivered to the Arkansas Department of Health. July 16, 2008. Salt Lake City: The Institute for Research & Evaluation).
Best Friends: Best Friends girls were nearly 6.5 times more likely to abstain from sexual activity than Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) respondents. Additionally, they were:
- 2.4 times more likely to abstain from smoking
- 8.1 times more likely to abstain from illegal drug use, and
- 1.9 times more likely to abstain from drinking.
(Source: Lerner, R., (2004). Can abstinence work? An analysis of the Best Friends Program. Adolescent and Family Health, 3(4), 185-192).