Safe Sex Practices Increase Among Americans


The Center for Disease Control (CDC) announced new findings when is comes to American’s risky sexual behavior. The results show the number of Americans who engage in sexual behavior that is considered risky for HIV infection has significantly decreased.

The CDC reported that between 2002 and 2010 the number of people engaging in risky sexual or drug related behavior decreased from 13% in males and 11% of females to 10% and 8% in 2010. Data was collected from 23,000 subjects, both male and female. Risk factors taken into consideration for this study were having several sexual partners or a sexual partner who uses IV drugs, having gay or bisexual sex and engaging in illicit drug use.

The decrease in these numbers may reflect inaccuracies due to subjects’ reluctance to disclose risky behavior or behavior that is illegal such as drug use. However the results also point to some interesting data:
• For women, the decline is not seen to correlate with any one risky sexual behavior.
• For men the decline seems associated with race as significant differences were noted between races. African American males between the ages of 15-24 reported engaging in at least one sexual behavior that is risky for HIV infection. the rate for Hispanic and White men in the same age group was 8.7% and 6.5% respectively.
• Reported risky behaviors such as unprotected sex and having multiple sex partners decreased.
• Risky behaviors varied between groups. For example recently incarcerated men were more likely to report high risk behavior than other men.
• Males of low income level were more likely to engage in behavior risky for HIV infection.
• A noted positive trend is reported sexual and drug behaviors both decreased.

While this study shows there is an indication that health and education programs are being successful in the fight against HIV, it is important to remember that the risk of encountering someone who is HIV positive has never been higher. Diligence is needed when it comes to prevention methods and education programs.


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