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Positive Youth Development as a Strategy to Promote Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health

      Adolescents and young adults in the Unites States experience negative sexual and reproductive health outcomes, such as sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, and pregnancy, at alarmingly high rates. Approximately 745,000 females younger than 20 years of age become pregnant every year. Birth rates among adolescents 15–19 years of age increased 3%, from 2005 to 2006 —the first increase since 1991 [
      • Martin J.A.
      • Hamilton B.E.
      • Sutton P.D.
      • et al.
      Births: Final data for 2006.
      ]. One in four (26%, 3.2 million) young women between 14 and 19 years of age in the United States is infected with at least one of the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) [

      Forhan S, Gottlieb S, Sternberg M, et al. Prevalence of sexually transmitted infections and bacterial vaginosis among female adolescents in the United States: Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003–2004. Presented at the 2008 National STD Prevention Conference; March 10-13, 2008; Chicago, IL. Available at: http://cdc.confex.com/cdc/std2008/webprogram/Paper14888.html.

      ]. In addition, more than 20,000 males and females 10–24 years of age are living with HIV/AIDS [
      • Gavin L.
      • Mackay A.
      • Brown K.
      • et al.
      Sexual and reproductive health of persons aged 10–24 years, United States, 2002-2007.
      ].
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