Two-thirds of AZ teens have sex before graduating

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Meeting set to address issues
azfamily.com

PHOENIX - The results from a new study may shock you.

According to the study, two-thirds of Arizona teens will have had sex by the time they graduate high school.

Parents and teens 3TV talked to say they cannot believe it but pediatricians tell 3TV the majority of Arizona teens and pre-teens are having sex.

Two-thirds of Arizona teens are having sex before graduation. That's according to the CDC and it's what a coalition of health and child advocacy groups aim to change.

Dr. Mary Rimsza, a pediatrician, says, "The problem is some education programs are only abstinence-based which means the only thing they discuss is abstinence."

Many parents agree teens need more information and better understanding of what could happen.

Tom Porter, a Valley father, says, "Sex ed is not to make them aware of sex but how to prevent the results of that. Abstinence is unique and I think it needs to start at home."

Unfortunately doctors say not enough parents talk to their kids about sex.

"They say they want to give education at home but when it comes right down to it they are uncomfortable with it," explains Dr. Rimsza.

And thus the state's teen pregnancy rate climbs right along with the number of kids sick with sexually-transmitted diseases.

Dr. Rimsza says, "It's very common practice to see teens with STDs. For HIV it's not that common but I've had to tell a 17-year-old they have AIDS and we shouldn't ever have to do thats hould have the info to keep that from happening."

It's the reason why this doctor will be joining teachers, teens and parents in Chandler on Thursday night to figure out how better to keep kids safe and hopefully find a sex education program that works.

Porter tells 3TV, "The consequences is what they don't think about. Who would even think right but the consequences are really importantthat's something they need to know."

The meeting in Chandler is open to the public and will take place between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the Tumble Weed Recreation Center.