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Aiming to prevent teen pregnancy

Published April 21. 2012 09:01AM

The teen birth rate in the United States has been dropping, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is on a five-year mission to keep those numbers declining. The initiative, in partnership with the federal Office of the Assistant Secretary of Health, began in 2010 and has four components.

*Evidence-based and evidence-informed prevention program implementation: Providing teens with evidence-based and evidence-informed, medically accurate and age-appropriate teen pregnancy prevention programs. These include youth development and curriculum-based programs that reduce risk factors associated with teen pregnancy. Evidence-based programs are those that have been proven to be effective through rigorous evaluation and identified through an independent review for the Department of Health and Human Services;

*Linking teens to quality health services: Ensuring linkages between teen pregnancy prevention programs and community-based clinical services, as allowable under federal law;

*Stakeholder Education: Educating stakeholders (community leaders, parents and other constituents) about relevant evidence-based and evidence-informed strategies to reduce teen pregnancy and data on needs and resources in target communities; and

*Sustainability: Supporting the sustainability of the communitywide teen pregnancy prevention effort.

By addressing these core components, the following performance measures are expected within five years:

· Reduce teen birth rates by 10 percent in targeted communities;

· Reduce teen pregnancies in targeted communities;

· Increase the percentage of youth who abstain from or delay sexual intercourse; and

· Increase the consistent and correct use of condoms and other effective methods of contraception among sexually active youth.

Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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