A new report from New York University researchers finds that the Bronx “ranks among the worst counties in the United States when it comes to adolescent sexual health outcomes,” such as teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
The report, whose lead author is Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, a professor at Silver School of Social Work at NYU, will be released at a news conference on Thursday, November 17, at 4:30 p.m. at the Morris Heights Health Center, 57-69 W. Burnside Ave., Bronx, N.Y.
Guilamo-Ramos is co-director of the Silver School’s Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health. CLAFH, along with the Morris Heights Health Center, co-published the report, which is entitled “Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health Disparities: The Case of Youth Residing in the Bronx.” Guilamo-Ramos will discuss the findings at the press conference along with Marlene Rivera, MD, chair of the advisory council to Changing The Odds, a community health program operated by the health center.
According to the report, the Bronx has among the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the nation, and a rate of sexually transmitted infections that is much higher than national averages. The Bronx also has significantly poorer adolescent and sexual and reproductive health outcomes than the other New York City boroughs.
However, the report reads, the rate at which Bronx teens engage in risks in sex, drugs, and alcohol is comparable to, and not much higher than, teens nationwide. Individual behavior among Bronx teens does not, then, fully account for the observed differences. The context in which Bronx youth live – in a borough disadvantaged across critical social, economic and health indicators – shapes adolescent sexual and reproductive health outcomes.
Guilamo-Ramos co-wrote the report with CLAFH researchers Jane Lee and Laryssa Husiak. In addition to documenting the extent of the crisis and exploring the factors fueling it, the report offers a series of recommendations to help turn around the situation.