The Youth Risk Behavior Survelliance Survey is given every two years to high school students in the U.S. to gather information and help guide policy on such topics as sex education, teen pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, smoking and seatbelt use.
Georgia is one of five states, however, that deletes survey questions that address sexual behavior, according to an action alert from Georgia Equality. Georgia Equality, the state's largest LGBT advocacy organization, wants people to contact Gov. Nathan Deal and ask him to include the sexual behavior questions in this year's survey.
Georgia deletes questions about teen sexual behavior on national survey
Georgia Equality states that by deleting questions about sexual behavior, the state puts young people, especially LGBT youth, at risk for HIV and STDs.
This month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report showing that HIV among youth, especially gay and bisexual males, is on the rise. According to 2010 data, approximatley 1,200 youth ages 13-24 are contracting HIV. Of that number, approximately 72 percent are contracted through male-to-male sexual contact.
From Georgia Equality:
This is the only long-term national survey conducted with this age group and is the official source of information used to evaluate federal, state, and local public health initiatives. Leaving these important questions out is harmful to all Georgia youth, but it is specifically damaging for LGBTQ students. HIV transmission rates are rising among young people and among gay, transgender and bisexual youth specifically. Georgia has one of the highest STD rates in the country; 30 out of every 100,000 teens contract a sexually transmitted disease. These numbers are too big and too threatening to ignore. To do effective prevention, we must meet Georgia’s young people where they are, and to do that we have to have solid information.