The study provides information on key reproductive and sexual health indicators in young women and men age 15-24 in 38 developing countries. The data come from Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) and AIDS Indicator Surveys (AIS) conducted between 2001 and 2005. Indicators are selected for the following key areas: background characteristics; adolescent pregnancy; contraception; sexual activity; and HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Additional analysis examines the association of various individual and household characteristics with the key indicators.
The findings indicate that adolescent pregnancy is more common in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean than in South/Southeast Asia when considering surveys where all women are interviewed, regardless of marital status. In all regions, knowledge of any method of contraception is high among young women and nearly universal among young men. Young men are less likely to practice primary abstinence than young women. In addition, multiple sexual partnerships and engaging in higher-risk sex are much more common among young men than young women. Nearly all youth have heard of HIV/AIDS and are aware of prevention methods. HIV testing is rare among both sexes.