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July 29, 2019

Parent-Based Interventions to Affect Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health: Reconsidering the Best Evidence vs All Evidence

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health, New York University, New York
  • 2Adolescent AIDS Program, Children’s Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York
  • 3City University of New York School of Public Health and Health Policy, New York
JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(9):821-823. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.2312

In a recent report, the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine highlighted adolescence as a critical developmental period for shaping long-term health and well-being.1 Particularly, adolescent and young adult (AYA) sexual and reproductive health (SRH) remains a national public health priority.2,3 The recently reinforced federal initiatives to address HIV, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unplanned pregnancies represent a substantial opportunity to eliminate persistent SRH disparities among AYAs in the United States. Each year since 2010, AYAs ages 13 to 24 years have been estimated to account for more than 1 in 5 new individuals who contract HIV.4,5 Similarly, AYAs ages 15 to 24 years consistently account for more than 50% of individuals who contract an STI annually, whose number reached an all-time high for the fourth consecutive year in 2017.6 Despite significant progress in preventing unplanned pregnancies, approximately 200 000 children are born to adolescents ages 15 to 19 years annually.7 The extant data and National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine1 recommendations suggest that novel programmatic efforts to reduce national SRH disparities among AYAs are particularly needed.

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