REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AMONG CARIBBEAN YOUTH
More than one-third of Caribbean students participating in a multinational health survey reported ever having had sex.1 Among the respondents-15,695 students aged 10-18 in nine countries-34% were sexually experienced (52% of males and 22% of females), of whom 43% were younger than 11 at first sex and 38% said the first episode of intercourse had been forced. Although 33% of sexually experienced respondents reported only one partner, 16% reported two partners, 14% three, 7% four, 6% five and 24% at least six. Overall, 10% of respondents had been involved in a pregnancy and 30% said they were worried about becoming or making someone pregnant. However, only one-quarter of sexually experienced youth consistently practiced contraception. Noting that only 28-39% of students were concerned about getting AIDS, the researchers comment that there is “a need for sexual health education” in the Caribbean.
1. Halcon L et al, Adolescent health in the Caribbean: a regional portrait, American Journal of Public Health, 2003, 93(11): 1851-1857.
Copyright Alan Guttmacher Institute Jun 2004
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