The Fastest-Growing Health Concern for Young Women Around the World Is Unsafe Sex

By
Image
Photo: BDLM

You know you should always have protected sex, but say you slip up one night and forget the condom. You take a Plan B, get an STI test, and hope all is well and good.

Sadly, it’s not always that simple — a new report from the Lancet commission indicates that unsafe sex is now the fastest-growing risk factor for poor health and death in young people around the world.


The report — titled “Our future: a Lancet commission on adolescent health and wellbeing” — spans from 1990 to 2013, and it provides an extensive look at a variety of risk factors that lead to death or sickness in people ages 10 to 24.

In 1990, unsafe sex was the 11th leading risk factor for death in women aged 15 to 19, while in 2013 it was No. 1. It came in seventh for women aged 20 to 24 in 1990, and also jumped to the top of the list by 2013. When the report combines the risk factors for both men and women, unsafe sex comes in at No. 2 — and grew the most rapidly over the past 23 years.

It’s troubling, and it’s yet another reason to call for more education about and greater accessibility to contraceptives.