Ohio teens take some major health risks
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Teens in Ohio may be in need of more education on the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). According to the Springfield News-Sun, the results of a 2011 federal survey on risky behaviors showed that young people in the area are more likely to engage in sexual activity than their counterparts in most other U.S. states.
Sex is just one of several risky behaviors that teens in Ohio engage in, as the study found that high schoolers in the state also are more likely to be heavier tobacco users, not wear seat belts while passengers in automobiles, or be seriously injured by a suicide attempt.
"It’s challenging to pin down exactly why any particular category increases or decreases," said Ohio Department of Health spokeswoman Tessie Pollock, quoted by the news source. "There are environmental factors that have an immediate impact on the decisions of the youth in Ohio, but then there are much larger systemic causes that will take change in an entire community."
In the survey, 41 percent of Ohio high school students had sexual intercourse with at least one person in the three months before the study, compared to 33 percent nationally. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals between the ages of 15 and 24 represent only 25 percent of the sexually active population in the U.S., but account for 50 percent of all new STD cases each year.
Since Ohio has such high rates of teen sex, health officials in the state need to work to make sure that these young people are aware of the dangers of STDs, the importance of safer sex and of visiting STD testing centers in Ohio to make sure that they don't have an undetected infection.
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