The latest YRBS reports some positive health trends for American youth but points out nagging disparities still persist with sexual minorities.
The 2017 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows fewer young people in the U.S. are having sex and using drugs but cautions that a number of troubling risks remain for youth in at-risk groups.
The report finds that between 2007-2017 the percentage of high school students who say they’ve ever had sex dropped from 47.8% to 39.5%. Condom use during last sexual experience also dipped from 61.5% to 53.8%. The percentage of students using illicit drugs declined from 22.6% in 2007 to 14% in 2017.
Of concern, though, is that Gay, lesbian, bisexual and questioning youth were far more likely to report having experienced violence and bullying. In the press release outlining the findings Jonathan Mermin, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention said ““Today’s youth are making better decisions about their health than just a decade ago. But, some experiences, such as physical and sexual violence, are outside their control and continue at painfully high levels. Their experiences today have powerful implications for their lives tomorrow.”