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China’s First National Youth Reproductive Health Survey Released Preliminary Findings

Date: 2010.05.4

                      Over 50% of Youth Reported Unmet Needs in Sexual and Reproductive Health

    Beijing, 4 May2010- Peking University, the National Working Committee on Children and Women under the State Council (NWCCW), and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA China) released the preliminary findings of China’s first national survey on youth’s access and utilization of sexual and reproductive health services in Peking University. The sample of the survey represented the country’s 164 million unmarried youth aged between 15 and 24 in 2009 in China.

     Findings show that about 60% of the unmarried youth in China are open to having sex before marriage. 22.4% of them have had sex, and over half of them did not use any contraceptive methods for their first sex act. Amongst the female youth who have had sex, 20% of them had unplanned pregnancies, and 91% resorted to abortion. About 60% of the needs for counseling and more than 50% of the needs for services in reproductive health are not met, mostly due to “feeling embarrassed” or “not serious” perceived. Only 4.4% of the youth were well-informed about reproductive health and 14.4% of them had correct HIV prevention knowledge.

     Ms. Su Fengjie, Standing Vice Director, from NWCCW said at the meeting, “The survey provides a necessary national-wide evidence base of the policy which aims to improve the access of youth to high quality of information and services”.

    With the rapid development of the country and changing social values, the youth population’s need for sexual and reproductive health information and services is growing as behaviours change and youth are exposed to the increasing reproductive health risks, including unsafe sex, unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections including HIV. “Traditionally in China reproductive health services are provided only to married couples. The rights of youth to reproductive health education, information and care should be further protected in line with China’s commitments to the International Conference on Population and Development”, Dr. Bernard Coquelin, UNFPA China representative said at the release meeting.

    Professor Zhang Guoyou, Vice President of Peking University, said that Peking University is proud to release the preliminary survey results on its 112th anniversary. “I hope the first survey of its kind conducted by Peking University can help to put the unmet needs of youth high on the agenda of policy makers and raise public awareness on these issues”. 

     The analysis leading to national policy and strategies recommendations to address the unmet needs of youth will be conducted following the release of the preliminary data of the survey.

     Contact information:

    Institute of Population Research, Peking University: Prof. Gong Chen, Deputy Director of Project of Study for Policy Development on Youth Access to Reproductive Health (RH) in China, email: chengong@pku.edu.cn; 010-62755422

    NWCCW: Mr. Xining Jiang, email: jxn@nwccw.gov.cn; 010-65103322

    UNFPA China: Ms. Gao Cuiling, Assistant Representative, email: gao@unfpa.org; 13811608735

 

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