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Brief Spotlights Low Contraception Use Among Hispanic Teens

10/13/2006:   More teen females are using condoms the first time they have sex than in the past. But Hispanic teens reported the lowest levels of all racial and ethnic groups to use any contraceptive method the first time they have sex, according to Child Trends' most recent research brief, Trends and Recent Estimates: Contraceptive Use Among U.S. Teens.

The brief examines these and other trends, using data from the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics and supplemented with original analyses by Child Trends. The good news in the brief is that most sexually active teens are using contraception. In 2002, 83% of sexually active teen females reported using contraception the last time they had sex, compared with 71% of females in 1995. Among sexually active teen males in 2002, 91% had used contraception the last time they had sex, compared with 82% in 1995.

"One reason we are concerned by the lower numbers of contraceptive use at first sex by Hispanic teens is that research shows that contraception use during the first sexual relationship is associated with subsequent contraceptive use. And consistent contraceptive use is key to preventing unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections," says Kerry Franzetta, lead author of the brief.

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