New Strategies to Promote Adolescent Sexual Health

A Call to Action: Developing and Strengthening New Strategies
to Promote Adolescent Sexual Health

Through considerable efforts and investments of resources, adolescent pregnancy
and birth rates in the United States have decreased significantly over the past two decades.
Nonetheless, large disparities persist for many populations of youth. Reducing unintended
adolescent pregnancies is considered a “winnable public health battle,” but one that will
require innovative thinking and continued persistence. This paper reviews the recent research
literature and innovative programmatic efforts to identify six promising strategies that
address the challenge of adolescent pregnancy in new ways. These strategies aim to:
(1) understand and address the complexity of adolescent lives; (2) expand the provision of
quality sexual health education; (3) engage youth through technology and media; (4) increase
access to contraceptives and other sexual health services; (5) create tailored interventions for
populations with special needs; and (6) create a supportive policy environment. By building
upon lessons learned from past efforts, we can move the field toward the development,
strengthening, and promotion of future strategies that enhance the sexual well-being of
all adolescents.

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Developing and Strengthening New Strategies to Promote Adolescent Sexual Health