admin http://www.ashasexualhealth.org Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:08:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/cropped-site_icon-32x32.jpg admin http://www.ashasexualhealth.org 32 32 Survey Shows Condom Use Higher among Young People http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/survey-shows-condom-use-higher-among-young-people/ Thu, 10 Aug 2017 15:00:17 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=4945 Rates of condom use remained largely unchanged in recent years according to a report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), with higher usage reported among those ages 15-19. Using in-person interviews with males and females in the U.S. ages 15-44, the […]

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Rates of condom use remained largely unchanged in recent years according to a report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on data from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), with higher usage reported among those ages 15-19.

Using in-person interviews with males and females in the U.S. ages 15-44, the NSFG collects data on topics such as relationships, pregnancy, contraception use, and reproductive health. Key findings from the most recent study include:

  • During 2011-2015, nearly 24% of men and 34% of women reported using a condom with their most recent experience of sexual intercourse.
  • Over the last four weeks, 18% of men and 24% of women reported using condoms “100% of the time” with intercourse. 7% of the women in this group said the condom “broke or completely fell off.”
  • The majority of condom users – 60% of men and 56% of women – used condoms as their sole method of contraception.

Dennis Fortenberry, MD, MS, a member of ASHA’s board of directors and professor of pediatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine, said “Although condoms will never solve all of the STI and pregnancy prevention needs of a diverse population, they remain an accessible and low-cost technology necessary for comprehensive public health prevention approaches.”

Fortenberry notes the overall proportion of condom use is stable in recent years, with no large changes across the U.S. population. He says condom use is “quite high among younger sexually active populations where STI and pregnancy are important and access to other means of prevention may be limited.” The NSFG report confirms condom use is higher among young people: among those ages 15-19, 36% of women and 53% of men said they used condoms each time they had sex over the past year, compared to 11% of men and 9% of women ages 35-44.

Responding to issues with slippage and breakage, Fortenberry says we can do more to teach people how to use condoms correctly: “The relatively high frequency of condom use problems suggests the need for continued public health education and training, since other research suggests that problems are less frequent among more experienced users.”

ASHA’s resources on condoms (such as how to use them correctly) include the Condomology initiative with fact sheets, videos, and more.

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CDC Reports More than Half of Female Homicides Linked to Intimate Partner Violence http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/cdc-reports-half-female-homicides-linked-intimate-partner-violence/ Mon, 24 Jul 2017 16:13:37 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=4904 More than half of all homicides of women in the U.S. are related to intimate partner violence, according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). IPV-related deaths included those involving homicides where the victim was an intimate partner—such as a current or former spouse or girlfriend—of the suspect, as […]

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More than half of all homicides of women in the U.S. are related to intimate partner violence, according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). IPV-related deaths included those involving homicides where the victim was an intimate partner—such as a current or former spouse or girlfriend—of the suspect, as well as other deaths associated with IPV, including victims who were family, friends, first responders, or bystanders.

Researchers from CDC analyzed homicide data from the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) of 10,018 women aged 18 years or older in 18 states during 2003–2014. Among the key findings:

  • Over half of female homicides (55.3%) for which circumstances were known were related to IPV.
  • Young, racial/ethnic minority women are disproportionately affected: About one third of victims (29.4%) were aged 18–29 years, and non-Hispanic black and American Indian/Alaska Native women had the highest rates of homicide.
  • Arguments and jealousy were common factors involved in IPV-related homicides.
  • One in 10 victims of IPV-related homicide reportedly experienced violence in the month before their deaths.
  • Approximately 15% of victims of reproductive age (18–44 years) were pregnant or postpartum.

The researchers discuss strategies that could help prevent IPV-related homicides, including risk assessments by first responders to IPV-related incidents that can help identify women at greater risk to connect them to local services, state legislation to limiting access to firearms for persons under a domestic violence restraining order, and bystander programs, such as Green Dot, that teaches effective intervention skills and violence prevention. They also note that the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends screening women of childbearing age for IPV and referring women who screen positive for intervention services.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24/7 to talk confidentially with anyone in the United States who is experiencing domestic violence, seeking resources or information, or questioning unhealthy aspects of their relationship. The toll free, 24/7 hotline is available at 1-800-799-7233. Live chat is also available every day from 7 am to 2 am Central time.

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Trump Announces Ban on Transgender People in the Military [Updated] http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/trump-announces-ban-transgender-people-military-twitter/ Wed, 26 Jul 2017 14:56:24 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=4922 In a series of Tweets posted this morning, President Trump announced that transgender individuals will no longer be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, citing “the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.” After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government […]

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In a series of Tweets posted this morning, President Trump announced that transgender individuals will no longer be allowed to serve in the U.S. military, citing “the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.”

This abrupt announcement reversed a decision made in June 2016 that enabled transgender service members to serve openly. In a statement announcing that policy, then-Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter stated, “Our mission is to defend this country, and we don’t want barriers unrelated to a person’s qualification to serve preventing us from recruiting or retaining the soldier, sailor, airman, or Marine who can best accomplish the mission.”

While the policy was to take effect on July 1, 2017, current Defense Secretary Jim Mattis delayed its implementation for six months to allow for a review of whether transgender service members would affect the “readiness or lethality” of the force.

The National Center for Transgender Equality estimates that over 134,000 American veterans are transgender, and over 15,000 transgender people are currently serving in military. Executive Director Mara Keisling offered the following statement today on Trump’s announcement:

“This is worse than don’t ask don’t tell, this is don’t serve, don’t serve. This is an appalling attack on our service members; it is about bigotry rather than military readiness, reason or science. It is indefensible and cannot stand. The President wants to discard thousands of trained and skilled troops who are already serving honorably and done nothing but be honest about who they are. To turn away qualified recruits simply because of who they are is a shameful way to show our country’s gratitude to the people who serve our country.”

Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD, offered this statement on the ban:

“President Trump today issued a direct attack on transgender Americans, and his administration will stop at nothing to implement its anti-LGBTQ ideology within our government – even if it means denying some of our bravest Americans the right to serve and protect our nation. Today further exposed President Trump’s overall goal to erase LGBTQ Americans from this nation. Trump has never been a friend to LGBTQ Americans, and this action couldn’t make that any more clear.”

[UPDATED 7/27/17] In a letter to senior military leaders, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford wrote that there will be no immediate change to the current military policy on transgender individuals: “There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance.” He added that “we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect.”

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Federal Funding for Teen Pregnancy Prevention Programs Abruptly Cut http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/federal-funding-teen-pregnancy-prevention-programs-abruptly-cut/ Wed, 19 Jul 2017 21:53:33 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=4876 Earlier this month, 81 organizations that currently receive funding from Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) were notified by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) this funding would end June 30, 2018. The notice came as a surprise, as these programs were awarded five-year grants in 2015—totaling $213.6 million—with an original end date of June […]

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Earlier this month, 81 organizations that currently receive funding from Teen Pregnancy Prevention (TPP) were notified by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) this funding would end June 30, 2018. The notice came as a surprise, as these programs were awarded five-year grants in 2015—totaling $213.6 million—with an original end date of June 30, 2020.

As reported in Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Reporting, several grantees were told by officials at the DHHS Office of Adolescent Health that the decision to eliminate funding came from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health. It’s current head is recent Trump appointee Valerie Huber, who comes to the position from the National Abstinence Education Association (recently renamed Ascend) that has rebranded abstinence as “sexual risk avoidance” and promotes this as poverty reduction. As Martha Kempner writes at Rewire, “Teen parents are, in fact, more likely to live in poverty than their peers who have children at a later age. But suggesting that avoiding all sex until marriage will prevent you from being poor later in life is an extreme message not based in research.”

These preemptive funding cuts, which Reveal notes were done outside the traditional federal budget process, leave the future of these evidence-based program in question. Learn more at Reveal.

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New Poll Shows Majority Support ACA Birth Control Benefit http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/new-poll-shows-majority-support-aca-birth-control-benefit/ Thu, 13 Jul 2017 02:34:03 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=4870 A majority of Americans (68 percent) support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that employers to cover the full cost of prescription birth control as part of their health insurance plans, according to a June 2017 poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation. This support extends across political party lines, with 81 percent of democrats, 54 […]

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A majority of Americans (68 percent) support the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement that employers to cover the full cost of prescription birth control as part of their health insurance plans, according to a June 2017 poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation. This support extends across political party lines, with 81 percent of democrats, 54 percent of republicans and 68 percent independents supporting this benefit.

The poll also showed that a majority oppose to exemptions to this requirement on the basis of religious or moral grounds. While a 2014 Supreme Court decision established that “closely held” for-profit corporations could be exempt from the birth control requirement if their owners had religious objections, the Trump administration has suggested expanding this exemption to include a broader group of employers who object to birth control for either religious or moral reasons. Yet more American oppose exemptions for religious (53 percent) or moral (55 percent) reasons that support them.

More detailed data on the survey, visit the Kaiser Family Foundation

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The Rising Threat of Untreatable Gonorrhea http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/rising-threat-untreatable-gonorrhea/ Sat, 08 Jul 2017 16:23:56 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=4858 Antibiotic resistance has made gonorrhea infections much harder to treat, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned in a July press release, citing new research with data from 77 countries. “The bacteria that cause gonorrhoea are particularly smart. Every time we use a new class of antibiotics to treat the infection, the bacteria evolve to resist […]

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Antibiotic resistance has made gonorrhea infections much harder to treat, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned in a July press release, citing new research with data from 77 countries. “The bacteria that cause gonorrhoea are particularly smart. Every time we use a new class of antibiotics to treat the infection, the bacteria evolve to resist them,” said Dr. Teodora Wi, Medical Officer, Human Reproduction, at WHO. Right now, there is only one remaining group of antibiotics that can effectively treat gonorrhea, and resistance to these has been reported in many countries. As the WHO release makes clear, there is an urgent need for new drugs to be developed.

In the United States, gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection, with about 820,000 new infections each year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 246,000 of these are resistant to at least one antibiotic. CDC calls drug-resistant gonorrhea an “urgent threat” and is continuing to monitor antibiotic resistant infections and look for solutions. But prevention is also key—using condoms consistently and correctly can help prevent infection with gonorrhea and other STIs.

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Update on Teen Sexual Behavior & Contraception Use http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/update-teen-sexual-behavior-contraception-use/ Thu, 29 Jun 2017 14:05:46 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=4807 The number of teens who have had sex remained stable in recent years while the rate of contraception use has increased, according to a report released in June from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), Sexual Activity and Contraceptive Use Among Teenagers in the United States, 2011-2015. Using in-person interviews with males and females […]

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The number of teens who have had sex remained stable in recent years while the rate of contraception use has increased, according to a report released in June from the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG), Sexual Activity and Contraceptive Use Among Teenagers in the United States, 2011-2015.

Using in-person interviews with males and females in the U.S. ages 15-44, the NSFG collects data on topics such as relationships, pregnancy, contraception use, and reproductive health. Key findings from the most recent data include:

  • Among never-married teens in 2011-2015, 42% of females and 44% of males had sexual intercourse at least one time, similar to numbers from 2006-2010.
  • In 2011-2015 81% of female teens used some type of contraception when they first had intercourse, up from 74% in 2002. Male teens’ use of condoms at first intercourse jumped from 71% in 2002 to nearly 77% in 2011-2015.

Educating teens about sexual health is critical says ASHA president Lynn Barclay: “While these trends are encouraging we mustn’t believe for a minute that the work is done. 20 million sexually transmitted infections occur each year in the U.S. and half are in youth ages 15-24.” Barclay says when it comes to educating young people, we need to focus on more than the physical aspects of sex. “It does little good to tell a teen to ‘use a condom’ if they lack the skills or power to negotiate safer sex in a relationship. We need discussions around values, boundaries, gender differences and self-image. They all play a huge part in making healthy choices.”

ASHA has sexual health tools for health providers, parents, and educators along with an award-winning site for teens, iwannaknow.org.

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Men and Sexual Health: Resources & Rumblings http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/men-sexual-health-resources-rumblings/ Fri, 16 Jun 2017 17:23:03 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=4719 Snips, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails. That’s what little boys are made of! In this episode of ASHA’s Sex+Health podcast, we ruminate on men and sexual health. Tune in for insights from Dr. Abe Morgentaler and ASHA’s vice president for strategic partnerships Kay Phillips and also learn about the tools and resources we offer for […]

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Snips, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails. That’s what little boys are made of!

In this episode of ASHA’s Sex+Health podcast, we ruminate on men and sexual health. Tune in for insights from Dr. Abe Morgentaler and ASHA’s vice president for strategic partnerships Kay Phillips and also learn about the tools and resources we offer for men (and organizations serving them).


ASHA’s Sex+Health podcast is on iTunes. Subscribe today!

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Abstinence-only Sex Ed 2.0? http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/abstinence-sex-ed-2-0/ Fri, 09 Jun 2017 18:37:58 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=4711 Long-time ASHA colleague Martha Kempner writes on rewire.com about recent key hires with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that may bolster the reemergence of abstinence-only sex education programs.

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Long-time ASHA colleague Martha Kempner writes on rewire.com about recent key hires with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that may bolster the reemergence of abstinence-only sex education programs.

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Talking to Girls and Young Women about S-E-X http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/talking-girls-young-women-s-e-x/ Mon, 08 May 2017 16:52:13 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=4646 “[Girls] have told by society that sex is great but that’s not their experience. They don’t know how to talk about that disconnect, there’s a certain amount of shame that shuts down their voice….for me, sexual empowerment for girls is helping them to find a voice in their sexual relationships.” In a compelling TED Talk […]

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“[Girls] have told by society that sex is great but that’s not their experience. They don’t know how to talk about that disconnect, there’s a certain amount of shame that shuts down their voice….for me, sexual empowerment for girls is helping them to find a voice in their sexual relationships.”

In a compelling TED Talk video (available below), nurse practitioner Jane Epstein makes the case that our efforts are sadly lacking with it comes to talking to teen girls and young women. In this episode of ASHA’s podcast we delve deeper into the topic with Ms. Epstein on not only what to say when talking to young females about sex, but how to help them speak up for themselves.

Jane Epstein is a Yale graduate and a clinician who sees teenagers at a high school-based health clinic where, as part of comprehensive health care, she provides sexual health care including contraception services to teens.


ASHA’s Sex+Health podcast is on iTunes. Subscribe today!
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