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Family Planning

Family Planning - GCI

% of youth ages 10-19 completing at least 80% of evidence-based comprehensive sexuality education sessions through VDH-sponsored programs

77Q1 2020

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Story Behind the Curve

 

Last Updated: November 2019  

Author: Division of Maternal and Child Health, Vermont Department of Health

The consequences of adolescent sexual activity remain a troubling issue, nationally and locally.

 

In Vermont, the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey of high school age youth indicates that:

  • 40% of students reported ever having sex (consistent with national results)
  • 31% of students reported having sex in the past 3 months.
  • 9% reported four or more sexual partners in their lifetime, (significantly decreasing since 2013).
  • 10% have been tested for HIV.
  • Among sexually active students, the last time they had sex:
    • 56% used a condom (significantly decreasing over the past decade).
    • 50% used moderately or highly effective contraception to prevent pregnancy. Use of an IUD or an implant has increased by 10% since 2013.
    • 19% used both a condom and prescription birth control.
    • 20% used drugs or alcohol prior
    • 7% did not use any method to prevent pregnancy

Estimates suggest that adolescents and young adults account for half of all new STI cases in the U.S. every year.

What is PREP?

The Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP) is federal funding that is overseen jointly by the Administration on Children and Families (ACF) and the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB).

Through PREP, awards are granted to state agencies to provide comprehensive sex ed to young people being served in community-based programs. Instruction covers both abstinence and contraception to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. The program targets youth ages 10-19 who are homeless, in foster care, live in rural areas or in geographic areas with high teen birth rates, or come from racial or ethnic minority groups. The program also supports pregnant youth and parents under the age of 21.

PREP projects replicate effective evidence based programs that have been proven to delay sexual activity, increase condom or contraceptive use for sexually active youth, and/or reduce pregnancy among youth. Vermont PREP grantees currently use the curriculum Making Proud Choices! 

In addition to education on abstinence and contraceptive use, PREP projects also offer services to prepare young people for adulthood by implementing activities that address healthy relationships, positive adolescent development, and healthy life skills. Vermont also requires PREP grantees to integrate teaching on consent and creating safe and affirming environments for LGBTQ+ youth into their instruction.

What Works

Evidence based programs and interventions, comprehensive health education, access to adolescent friendly health services, and implementing policies that support overall adolescent health, are all proven strategies that have been shown to reduce teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, including HIV/AIDS, and improve the overall sexual health of adolescents. Decades of research have identified dozens of programs that are effective in helping young people prevent pregnancy, HIV, and STDs. These programs provide young people with accurate, honest, developmentally appropriate information about abstinence, contraception, and healthy relationships.

Action Plan
  • Continue to support youth serving community-based agencies around the state to implement evidenced based programs that focus on pregnancy  and disease prevention and sexual health.
  • Ensure that PREP grantees receive ongoing training and technical assistance to implement the program with fidelity.
  • Continue to support PREP grantees to build and maintain partnerships with other agencies, community organizations, health services and schools in their local communities.
  • Continue to monitor and evaluate the outcomes of PREP around the state.
  • Continue to improve in provision of safe and affirming sex ed for youth of all gender identities and sexual orientations.
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