(HealthDay News) – The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports the use of condoms as an effective method of contraception in adolescents, according to a policy statement published online Oct. 28 in Pediatrics.
Rebecca F. O’Brien, MD, and colleagues on the AAP Committee on Adolescence, updated a previous policy statement, published in 2001, on condom use by adolescents.
The researchers note that, despite the decline in rates of sexual activity, pregnancies, and births among adolescents during the past decade, many youth remain at risk for unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Since the last policy statement was released, further evidence has been gathered that supports the use of condoms as protection against STIs, including HIV. Pediatricians should encourage consistent and correct use of condoms by sexually active adolescents to prevent unintended pregnancies and reduce the risk of STIs. Interventions to make condoms more available or accessible work best when combined with individual, small-group, or community activities that promote safer sex.
“Continued research is needed to inform public health interventions for adolescents that increase the consistent and correct use of condoms and promote dual protection of condoms for STI prevention with other effective methods of contraception,” the authors write.