State Health Department Releases New York State Youth Sexual Health Plan
Encourages Health Care Providers, Educators, Policy Makers to Utilize Plan in Their Communities
ALBANY, N.Y. (May 20, 2014) – Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker, today released the first-ever New York State Youth Sexual Health Plan. The plan is a guide to ensure that accurate sexual health information and quality health services are made available to all youth in New York State. The purpose of this plan is to address the HIV, STD, and pregnancy prevention needs of adolescents and young adults and promote positive, healthy, and informed choices regarding sexual health. Educators, community stakeholders, health care providers, policy makers, members of the public, and private sectors are encouraged to utilize this plan as a helpful tool to influence their communities and youth.
"Reproductive and sexual health are key health issues for adolescents and young adults," said Acting Commissioner Zucker. "Providing accurate and comprehensive information to protect adolescents' health and prepare them for responsible decision making is a public health priority."
The New York State Youth Sexual Health Plan is a collaborative effort between the Department of Health (DOH) and other members of the Interagency Task Force on HIV/AIDS.
Key findings include:
- One in four adolescents is likely to acquire an STD. This rises to one in two for sexually active people by age 25.
- Chlamydia is the most commonly reported communicable disease in New York State with more than 100,000 cases reported in 2012. Statistics show nearly two out of three cases are among youth ages 15-24 and one out of three are aged 15-19.
- Gonorrhea is the third-most commonly reported STD in New York State with more than 22,000 cases reported in 2012. One out of two of these cases were among youth aged 15-24.
- There were 3,306 newly diagnosed cases of HIV infection in 2012. One in five cases was among individuals under the age of 25.
- There were 12,733 births to women 19 years of age or younger in 2012, with 29 percent of this group aged 17 or younger.
Goals of the New York State Sexual Health Plan Include:
- Promote continuity and consistency of evidence-based and medically accurate health education across the State.
- Reduce the rate of HIV/STD infections.
- Reduce the rate of unintended teen pregnancy.
- Make available HIV/STD testing and screening through school-based health centers.
- Promote healthy and safe relationships and decision making (alcohol/substance use, mental health, peer pressure, and partner violence).
- Increase knowledge of and access to contraception and other sexual health services.
- Educate professionals and youth about the difference between healthy sexual relationships and abusive ones.
To view the New York State Youth Sexual Health Plan in its entirety:
For additional information on the New York State Interagency Task Force on HIV/AIDS and other resources: