Monday, July 10, 2006

Latino youth are most likely to have not used a condom during their last sexual intercourse, with 42% reporting not using one

Glenn Flores:

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows disturbing trends for Latino youth in America.

On June 8, the agency's "2005 Youth Risk Behavior Survey" revealed that, compared with white youth and black youth, young Latinos are significantly more likely to use drugs. For example, one in eight Latino youth reports having used cocaine at least once. For "ecstasy," it's one in 10; methamphetamine, one in 11; and heroin, one in 28, according to the survey.

Latino youth are most likely to have not used a condom during their last sexual intercourse, with 42 percent reporting not using one. This is particularly concerning, since not using condoms greatly increases the risks of teen pregnancy, as well as the risks of contracting HIV/AIDS and other serious sexually transmitted diseases.

In terms of physical health, Latino youth have the highest rate of being overweight, at 17 percent, vs. 12 percent for non-Latino white youth.

Mental health is not much better. Latino youth are most likely to report feeling sad or hopeless -- at 36 percent overall, and 47 percent among Latino girls. Latino teens have the highest rates of seriously considering attempting suicide -- 18 percent overall, and an alarming one in four girls. Overall, 11 percent of Latino youth have actually attempted suicide, including 15 percent of young Latinas.

Risky behavior soars among Latino teens

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