Sexual health among teenagers has taken a turn for the worse, according to a study carried out by scientists at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health working with researchers at Guttmacher Institute.
Researchers analysed data from the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, finding that contraceptive use among teenagers had declined between 2003 and 2007.
There was some suggestion that the lower rates of use of contraception among teenagers indulging in sexual activity could be explained by abstinence-only initiatives and a lack of awareness of HIV among the younger generation.
The results of the research are to be published in the upcoming edition of the Journal of Adolescent Health, which will be published in July.
Dr John Santelli, professor and chair of the Heilbrunn Department of Population and Family Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, commented: "After major improvements in teen contraceptive use in the 1990s and early 2000s, which led to significant declines in teen pregnancy, it is disheartening to see a reversal of such a positive trend."
Earlier this week (June 15th) the government unveiled plans to reduce pregnancies and infections caused by risky sexual behaviour among teenagers in Wales.