Change in 'Pap' Test Rules Linked to Drop in STD Testing
A major change in Pap test guidelines introduced in 2009 may have had an unintended consequence: Some young women are missing out on screening for chlamydia. There's evidence that the national rate of screening for chlamydia has inched up in recent years, said Dr. Gale Burstein, who chairs the committee on sexually transmitted infections for the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine. (U.S. News & World Report, 7/21)

Minister Fights For Right To Counsel LGBT Juvenile Offenders That They’re Going To Hell
The Kentucky Department of Juvenile Justice has a policy that requires that LGBTQI juveniles be treated with respect for their identities, but a minister is now challenging it. The medical community’s consensus is that affirming LGBT identities is the best way to support the mental health and well-being of LGBT people, and SAHM recommends affirmative therapeutic approaches for adolescents. (Think Progress, 7/27) 




American Teen Use of Morning-After Pill is Climbing
More than 1 in 5 sexually active teen girls have used the morning-after pill, a dramatic increase that likely reflects that it’s easier now for teens to buy the emergency contraceptive. A report released by the CDC shows teen use of the morning-after pill rose steadily from a decade earlier, when it was 1 in 12. Now, all teens can buy it without a prescription. (Time, 7/22)

Teen Drinking, Smoking on the Decline, U.S. Study Finds
Although more American teens are using marijuana, their use of alcohol and cigarettes has decreased, a new study finds. Penn State researchers reviewed information from nearly 600,000 high school seniors surveyed about their substance use between 1976 and 2013.The results showed an increase in marijuana use, particularly among black teens, and a significant decline in cigarette use, particularly among white teens. (HealthDay News, 7/22)

Facebook Reminders Help Teens Control Asthma
Results of a study of asthmatic teenagers at Boston’s Partners HealthCare found significant improvement in engagement and in symptom control when patients received reminders and encouragement from clinicians and peers via Facebook. Researchers achieved 79% “engagement” with the approximately 125 teens in the study group, compared to the typical rate of just 18%. (MedCity News, 7/22)

‘Bath Salts’ Not Widespread in U.S. High Schools, Survey Finds
Of the 1 % of U.S. high school seniors who have tried street drugs called “bath salts,” nearly one-fifth are regular users, a new study finds. Bath salts are synthetic amphetamine-like stimulants that have become increasingly popular in recent years. The drugs have been linked with numerous health problems and deaths, accounting for more than 20,000 ER visits in the United States in 2011. (HealthDay News, 7/23)

Genes Influence Academic Ability Across All Subjects, Latest Study Shows
Scientists have shown in a recent study that the genes influencing numerical skills are the same ones that determine abilities in reading, arts and humanities. The findings add to growing evidence that school performance has a large heritable component, and although scientists are yet to pinpoint specific genes, they suggest that the same ones are involved across subjects. (The Guardian, 7/23)

New Study Looks at Sexual Risk-Taking for Women on Vacation
New research that collected data from 853 American women with an average age of 23 years discovered that tourist destinations promote an altered sense of reality among female travelers that allows for sexual experimentation and exploration while at the same time downplays perception of risk and consequences, including having unprotected sex or having sex under the influence of alcohol. (Medical News Today, 7/23)

Medical Marijuana May Pose Risk to Teens, Study Suggests
Teens who have legal permission to use medical marijuana are 10 times more likely to say they’re addicted than those who get the drug illegally, a new study shows. Researchers looked at nearly 4,400 H.S. seniors, and found teens who used medical marijuana were more likely to report problems with addiction, as well as engage in risky behaviors, including using marijuana more often, and using alcohol and prescription pills. (HealthDay News, 7/24)

Transgender Youth Don’t Have Hormone Abnormalities
Sex hormone levels in transgender youth are consistent with the gender they were assigned at birth, a new study finds that looked at 101 transgender youth between the ages of 12 and 24. At birth, babies are typically assigned a gender based on their external genitalia. Transgender people have a different gender identity than the one they were given at birth, the researchers said. (HealthDay News, 7/24)

1 in 3 Colon Cancers in Young People Has Genetic Link
More than a third of colon cancers diagnosed in younger patients are caused by inherited gene mutations, a new study finds. These patients should undergo genetic counseling to determine if their families may be at increased risk, the researchers suggested. Until now, the prevalence of hereditary colon cancer among teens and young adults has not been well documented. (HealthDay News, 7/24)

High School Band Classes May Boost Teen Brains
Music training improves teens’ hearing and language skills, a new study says. The findings suggest that music instruction can help teens do better in school. The study included 40 freshmen who were followed until their senior year. The students enrolled inn band classes showed faster maturation in the brain’s response to sound, as well as heightened brain sensitivity to sound details. (HealthDay News, 7/24)

Soccer-Based Promo of Circumcision Scores in Africa
In the African nation of Zimbabwe where HIV infection is prevalent and where soccer is almost a religion, sports stars have successfully teamed up with a NGO to promote male circumcision among the nation’s youth. In the randomized, clinical trial, 12.2% of the young men and adolescents in a sport counselling group underwent circumcision compared with 4.6% of the group of young men assigned to usual care. (Medpage Today, 7/24)

Rising Autism Prevalence “Driven by Changes in Classification’
Figures from the CDC suggest that autism prevalence has increased from 1 in 5,000 in 1975 to 1 in 150 in 2002 to 1 in 68 in 2012. These increases have previously been attributed to there being a greater awareness of autism these days, combined with a broadening of diagnostic criteria. However, the new study finds that the increase may be due to individuals with related neurological disorders being reclassified. (Medical News Today, 7/25)

Awareness of Fertility Preservation Options Among Younger Cancer Patients May Be Low
For adolescents and young adults undergoing cancer therapy, the effect their treatment may have on future fertility can be one of many concerns. While there are fertility preservation options available for these patients, a new study suggests awareness of this fact may be low, particularly for women. In this study, 70% of patients said their health care provider informed them about the fertility risks of cancer treatment. (Medical News Today, 7/27)

Teens Using E-Cigs More Prone to Take Up Smoking
Teenagers who use electronic cigarettes may be more likely to smoke the real thing, new research suggests. The study, which included almost 2,100 California high school students, found that one-quarter had ever tried e-cigarettes. Ten percent of the teens were currently using e-cigarettes, and one-third of e-cigarette users also smoked tobacco cigarettes, versus 1% of kids who’d never vaped. (HealthDay News, 7/27)

Sexual Violence Against Adolescents
New research from 7 countries with HIV epidemics that partner with PEPFAR has reported sobering statistics that at least 25% of girls and 10% of boys experienced childhood sexual violence. However, less than 1 in 10 of the survivors received health care services, legal/security aid, or counseling support. Data are from Violence Against Children Surveys, beginning 8 years ago to track the prevalence of sexual violence. (JAMA, 7/28)

Data On Experimental Dengue Vaccine Indicate Varying Results For Different Age Groups
A new study has found that the experimental dengue vaccine developed by Sanofi, may yield varying effects to different age groups. Younger children were more likely to still get hospitalized due to the infection compared to older children. The researchers investigated the live, attenuated and tetravalent dengue vaccine called CYD-TDV in 3 clinical trials in more than 35,000 children aged 2-14 years and 9-16 years. (Tech Times, 7/28)

Adolescents with Sleep Problems More Likely to Self-Harm
There is a strong relationship between sleep problems such as insomnia, and self-harm, according to findings in a new Norwegian study, that reviewed self-reports from 10,220 teenagers (16-19 years old) in Western Norway. The researchers say that depressive symptoms accounted for some, but not all, of the association to self-harming. However, the latter association remained significant even in the fully adjusted analyses. (Science Daily, 7/29)

Physical Activity Eases Impact of Bullying in Teens
Physical activity may be a robust antidote to ward off sadness and suicidal thoughts in bullied adolescents. In a survey of more than 13,000 youth in the United States, teens who said they exercised 4-5 days a week had less sadness, suicidal ideation, or suicide attempts than those who exercised 1 or fewer days a week. This protective effect of physical exercise extended to teens who reported that they had been bullied as well. (Medscape, 7/79)

Frequent Social Media Use May Take Toll On Teens’ Mental Health
Frequent social media use could have a negative impact on young people’s mental health, a new study suggests. Twenty-four % of teenagers go online “almost constantly,” but more alarming than the time spent are the negative consequences that young people may suffer. The study suggests that teens who use social media sites for 2 hours or more daily are at risk for poor mental health, psychological distress and suicidal thoughts. (CBS, 7/28)

Bullies are Happier, Have More Sex Appeal, Says Study
Somehow, it seems unfair. But a new study called “Survival of the Fittest and the Sexiest” published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence has found that adolescent bullies have higher self-esteem and social status, as well as lower rates of depression and social anxiety. From an evolutionary standpoint, these combined measures also make the meanest in the playground pack the ones with the greatest sex appeal. (Washington Post, 7/30)


AAFP Tells HHS How to Improve CHIP, Medicaid Managed Care
AAFP Board Chair Reid Blackwelder, M.D., recently wrote a letter to HHS with suggestions on how to improve a proposed rule covering Medicaid and CHIP. Blackwelder pointed out that enrollment in Medicaid has increased by 48% in the past 4 years. The AAFP called for a number of changes including use of technology to improve provider network directories and enhanced health plan network adequacy standards. (AAFP, 7/22)    

New Gene Test Speeds Diagnosis of Stomach Bug That Strikes Kids
Researchers have developed a genetic test to quickly detect a respiratory virus that sickened a record number of American children last year. More than 1,000 confirmed cases and 14 reported deaths nationwide were reported in the outbreak of enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new test is effective at identifying various strains of the virus and speeds its detection. (HealthDay News, 7/24)

Schools Face the Teen Cutting Problem
Schools around the country have begun offering new classes and mental-health programs to help stem a sharp rise in the number of adolescents found to be engaging in self injury, especially cutting. A growing number of the programs are based on a treatment called dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, which aims to help people regulate their emotions and teach skills for avoiding self-injury when the urge arises. (The Wall Street Journal, 7/27)

White House to Release Updated National HIV/AIDS Strategy
On Thursday, the White House Office of National AIDS Policy will release the National HIV/AIDS Strategy: Update 2020.  The National HIV/AIDS Strategy was initially released in 2010. While HIV affects Americans from all walks of life, the epidemic continues to disproportionately impact gay and bisexual men, transgender women, youth ages 13-24 and communities of color, particularly in the southern U.S. (HRC, 7/28)


A New Paradigm for Reproductive Health: Using Technology to Reach Young People
The U.N. Population Fund puts young people at the heart of development, and recognizes the power of technology to reach and empower young people. Through a design challenge and hackathon, this month UNFPA is bringing young people from around the world, together with specialists in adolescent sexual reproductive health and leading software engineers, to develop new mobile health app platforms. (Devex, 7/23)

Cuts to UK Mental Health Services are Destroying Young Lives and Families
£80m has been cut from the NHS mental health budget for children and adolescents in the past four years, including £35m in the last year alone. Unfortunately, it is the early intervention services including those in schools that have been hit hardest. Children with mental health problems are not being dealt with early enough and are ending up in wards, if they are lucky, where often their problems worsen. (The Guardian, 7/27)


Woman and Girls Rising
Capturing voices and experiences from around the world, this book documents the modern history of the global women’s movement. The volume interrogates where and why progress has met resistance and been slowed, and examines the still unfinished agenda for change in national and international policy arenas. This history and road map are especially critical for younger generations. (Woman and Girls Rising, 7/23)

America’s Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2015
Recently, the Forum on Child and Family Statistics released their 2015 update. While it showed progress in some areas of adolescent health, adolescents remain vulnerable in many areas. This report features statistics across a range of domains, including family and social environment, economics, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health. (Forum on Child and Family Statistics, 7/24)


CDC Releases Supplemental Info & Guidance for Providers Regarding Use of 9-valent HPV Vaccine
CDC has posted a useful new resource for immunization providers regarding use of HPV9 vaccine. It summarizes the recommendations and provides additional guidance for issues that may arise during the transition from HPV4 to HPV9 vaccine, including how to handle series completion with patients who have started with either the bivalent or quadrivalent product or people who have already completed the series. (IAC, 7/22)


Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit
The Global Youth Economic Opportunities Summit, taking place in Washington, D.C. on October 6-8, 2015, is designed to increase the impact, scale, and sustainability of youth economic opportunity programming. Summit participants represent multiple perspectives across sectors that include economic growth, education, food security and health. (Youth Economic Opportunities Summit, 7/78)


Putting the Pieces Together: Strategies for Pain Management
AAP is hosting its second webinar as part of a series aimed at preventing, identifying, and treating opioid dependence. The webinar takes place on Thursday, Aug. 6th form 12:00pm -1:00pm EDT, and will build off the previous event on the neurobiology of pain. General pediatricians and other physicians who address pain concerns in children/adolescents will learn about treatment options for pain and how to minimize diversion. (AAP, 7/24)

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