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Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 1:50pm

Teen Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Diseases On the Rise, CDC Says

Teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise, escpecially in the south, according to a recent report by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

From 2002 to 2007, the CDC tracked the sexual behavior and health of people ages ten to twenty-four nationwide. Their analysis shows that after years of decline, the rates of teen pregnancy and STDs are up.

"There's been an increase in teen pregnancy in the last two years, the rate of AIDS cases has increased among males fifteen to twenty-four, and after twenty years of decline, the number of ghonneria cases has leveled off, " says Lorrie Gavin, lead author of the report.

The report also shows an increase in the number of syphilis cases.

The south, Gavin says, has among the highest overall rates of teen pregnancy and STD infection.

The years tracked in the study coincide with the Bush administration's increased funding for abstinence-only sex education programs. Opponents of abstinence-only education, such as Planned Parenthood, point to a correlation between the start of the policy and the rise of teen pregnancy and STDs.

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