Press Releases
New survey data shows unprotected sex is on the increase among young people across the globe

London, September 21, 2010: This year World Contraception Day (WCD) 2010, which takes place every year on September 26, marks the launch of the results from a new multi-national survey entitled 'Contraception: Whose responsibility is it anyway?' The survey, supported by a coalition of ten international organizations with an interest in sexual health and the Youth Task Force, highlights a significant disconnect between young people's attitudes to accepting responsibility for contraception and what they are doing in their day to day lives. The results also highlight that confusion around contraceptive options is still widespread, with highly unreliable contraceptive methods, such as the 'withdrawal method' (withdrawing the penis before ejaculation) still being viewed as effective by a considerable number of young people across all regions included in the survey.1**

The survey involved 25 countries and over 5,000 young people aged between 15 and 24 across Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and Latin America.

The survey results are significant as the level of unplanned pregnancies is a major global concern, particularly among young people. Worldwide, approximately a third of the 205 million pregnancies which occur each year are unplanned. In addition statistics show that the highest reported rates of STIs are found among young people between 15 and 24 and that only a minority of adolescents (15 to 19 years old) have access to any acceptable and affordable STI services.

"The study reveals that youth have many misconceptions about contraception, and that even when they are well-informed, they still often have unprotected sex," said Edward L. Kadunc, president of PAHEF. "This campaign will help teach young people about how to avoid an unplanned pregnancy. By waiting until they are ready to become parents, youth can focus on fulfilling important goals such as finishing school and beginning their careers."

The most common reason cited in the survey for not using contraception, is not having it available at the time. However key barriers vary amongst markets and regions:

• In Thailand, more than a third of young people, who admitted to unprotected sex with a new partner, said the main reason they did not use contraception is because 'it's not cool'1

• In the UK and Norway, where contraception is readily available, a fifth of young people, who admitted to unprotected sex with a new partner, did not use contraception as they had 'drunk alcohol and forgot'1

• Across Latin America, 60% of females and 55% of males found discussion with their first partner about contraception 'difficult' (according to last year's WCD survey)

Contraception knowledge has actually declined in some countries since last year, particularly in the Asia Pacific region where only 28% of young Asians and Australians now consider themselves to be very well informed about contraceptive options1 compared to 36% in 2009.2 In many markets and regions, misconceptions still exist that fictitious methods of contraception are an effective way to prevent an unplanned pregnancy:

• In Russia, over half of the respondents believe the 'withdrawal method' is reliable1

• In Peru, a fifth of respondents think that having sex during the woman's period is an effective form of contraception1

• In Turkey, over a third of young people believe that showering or bathing after sex is an effective way to prevent an unplanned pregnancy1

Stuart Heritage, a representative of the Youth Task Force, said, "The report highlights that the key problem remains getting contraception information and education out to young people in an accessible way. This is why I think it is so important for parents, teachers and healthcare professionals to get young people talking about contraception and realising that being in control of your life is cool! We all know that looking and smelling good are important when you're getting ready for a date and raising contraception to the same level of importance is not going to be easy. It can be done though if we all keep working to empower young people to enjoy taking full responsibility for their own sexual health."

World Contraception Day, under the motto 'Contraception: It's Your Life, it's your responsibility' focuses on the need to encourage young people to take responsibility for contraception to prevent an unplanned pregnancy or STI.

LATIN AMERICA FINDINGS

• Overall 85% of respondents believe they are responsible for arranging contraception before a date when they may have sex for the first time and 88% accept responsibility for ensuring it is used effectively when having sex with a new partner

o However, 56% of those who have had sexual intercourse, have had sex without contraception with a new partner. This is significantly higher than any other region.

• Personal hygiene, including showering, waxing and applying perfume, is prioritized over contraception when preparing for a date which may lead to sex. This is especially true in Peru, Chile, and Venezuela.

• Almost a third (32%) actually ranked contraception as the most important part of preparing for a first date which may lead to sex, which is higher than in any other region.

• 61% of respondents feel very well informed about the different contraceptive options available, however in Colombia only 45% of young people feel very well informed about the options.

• More than a third of young people in the region (34%) believe the 'withdrawal method' is effective even though it is highly unreliable.

• Having sex during a woman's period is considered an effective form of contraception by about a fifth of respondents in Peru (19%).

• 16% of young people in Argentina believe that bathing or showering after sex will prevent an unplanned pregnancy.

• 44% of young people in Latin America say that a gynecologist is their main contact for accessing contraceptives, which is contrary to all other regions where either drug store employees or pharmacists are the main source for accessing contraceptives.

• 75% of young females in Latin America and 63% of young males have a close friend or family member who has had an unplanned pregnancy. This is significantly higher than in other regions

*Question/s not included in 2009 survey conducted in Latin America

**Question/s not included in either 2009 or 2010 survey conducted in North America

For further information, please visit www.your-life.com or contact:

Ashley Gatewood

Senior Communications Officer

Pan American Health and Education

Foundation (PAHEF)

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Hannah Morris

Senior Account Director

Ketchum Pleon

Phone: +44 207 611 3579

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Notes:

About the multi-national survey

The 'Contraception: Whose responsibility is it anyway?' survey, 20101

The 'Contraception: Whose responsibility is it anyway?' survey was carried out between April and May 2010. A total of 5,253 interviews were conducted among young people in 25 countries including: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, France, Great Britain, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Poland, Russia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, USA and Venezuela.

The 'Talking Sex and Contraception' Survey, 2009

The 'Talking Sex and Contraception' Survey was carried out in two parts. The first part was commissioned by Bayer Schering Pharma and involved 15 countries and 3,230 young people. The fieldwork was carried out by TNS Healthcare.2 The second part was commissioned through MTV and involved 2,144 young people across six countries in Latin America. The fieldwork was carried out by Online Testing Exchange (OTX). 7 Countries included were: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Chile, China, Colombia, France, Great Britain, Italy, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, USA and Venezuela.

About the Youth Task Force

The 'Youth Task Force' (YTF), has come together to encourage young people to talk to people they trust about sex and contraception and take responsibility for their sexual health. The YTF has been established to provide a 'credible' and 'trusted' voice to speak to young people and is made up of well known, passionate and open-minded young people from around the world, specifically selected because they already inspire young people.

The Youth Task Force members are listed below. For further information about individual members, please refer to the Youth Task Force media backgrounder.

• Brooke Brodack, video blogger, USA

• Claire Oelkers, actress and TV presenter, Germany

• Denise Keller, TV presenter, Singapore

• Diana Angel, actress and singer, Colombia

• Mia Lee, video blogger, China

• Phelipe Cruz, journalist and blogger, Brazil

• Stuart Heritage, blogger, UK

The global online community is hosted on the World Contraception Day website, www.your-life.com

World Contraception Day

World Contraception Day takes place on September 26 every year. The annual worldwide campaign centers around a vision for a world where every pregnancy is wanted. Launched in 2007, WCD's mission is to improve awareness of contraception to enable young people to make informed decisions on their sexual and reproductive health.

Under the motto 'Contraception: It's Your Life, it's your responsibility', WCD 2010 focuses on the need to encourage young people to take responsibility for contraception to prevent an unplanned pregnancy or STI.

WCD is supported by a coalition of 10 international NGOs and scientific and medical societies with an interest in sexual health and is sponsored by Bayer Schering Pharma. The NGOs and societies involved in WCD are:

• Asian Pacific Council on Contraception (APCOC)

• Centro Latinamericano Salud y Mujer (CELSAM)

• European Society of Contraception and Reproductive Health (ESC)

• German Foundation for World Population (DSW)

• International Federation of Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology (FIGIJ)

• International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF)

• Marie Stopes International (MSI)

• Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF)

• The Population Council

• The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)

Bayer Schering Pharma AG

Bayer Schering Pharma AG is a worldwide leading speciality pharmaceutical company. Its research and business activities are focused on the following areas: Diagnostic Imaging, General Medicine, Speciality Medicine and Women's Healthcare. With innovative products, Bayer Schering Pharma AG aims for leading positions in specialized markets worldwide. Using new ideas, Bayer Schering Pharma AG aims to make a contribution to medical progress and strives to improve quality of life. Find more information at www.bayerscheringpharma.de

References

Bayer Schering Pharma. Data on file. Contraception: Whose responsibility is it anyway? Survey. Fieldwork carried out by GFK Healthcare. May 2010

Bayer Schering Pharma. Data on file. Talking Sex and Contraception Survey. Fieldwork carried out by TNS Healthcare. July 2009

United Nations. Millennium Development Goals 2010 Report. New York: United Nations, 2010

Sedgh G et al. Induced abortion: rates and trends worldwide. Lancet. 2007; 370:1338-45

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Trends in Reportable Sexually Transmitted Diseases in the United States. CDC, 2006. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/std/stats06/trends2006.htm. Last accessed July 2010

WHO. Sexually transmitted infections among adolescents – the need for adequate health services. Geneva: WHO, 2005

Bayer Schering Pharma. Data on file. Usage and Knowledge about Contraceptives. Survey commissioned by MTV. Fieldwork carried out by Online Testing Exchange (OTX). March – June 2009

 
 
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