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SC Teen Birth Data

Monday, February 6, 2017

February 6, 2017—Columbia, SC:  South Carolina’s teen birth rate now stands at 16th in the nation (2015) compared to 13th in 2014.  According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, this includes a 64% decline since its peak in 1991, landing the teen birth rate for 15-19 year olds at 26.1 per 1,000 females.

While the teen birth rate continues to decline, STI and HIV rates remain alarmingly high.  In 2015, South Carolina ranked in the top 10 nationally for rates of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and diagnosed HIV for all ages. From 2014-2015, South Carolina saw a 1.4% increase in the rate for Chlamydia, and a 10.9% increase in HIV prevalence (15-19 year olds, per 100,000 population). Although there was a 7.4% decrease in the rate for Gonorrhea, SC remains third in the nation for Gonorrhea rates among 15-19 year olds. This is a cause for concern as only 59% of high school students reported using a condom the last time they had sex compared to 67% in 2005.  However, with an increase in available contraceptive options for teens, South Carolina has seen a rise in reported birth control use for sexually active hig

h school students. In 2005, only 18% of high school students reported using birth control pills at last sex, where in 2015, 31% of high school students reported using a birth control method (pill, patch, ring, shot, IUD, implant) the last time they had sex.

The SC Campaign continues to focus efforts in this direction by working in Anderson, Aiken and Orangeburg Counties through partnerships with the United Way of Anderson, Aiken Youth Empowerment and OCAB Community Action Agency, Inc., through a five year grant entitled Expanding the Reach.  Other counties actively partnering with the SC Campaign include Bamberg, Barnwell, Darlington, Dillon, Horry, Richland and Spartanburg. Each county is working diligently to increase access to birth control among teens. Condom Access Points (CAPs) have been implemented in businesses and community organizations to create safe spaces for teens to access condoms.  All programs encourage abstinence as the safest and most effective option and promote the use of various forms of birth control and the proper and frequent use of condoms among sexually active teens. This is critical to not only preventing teen pregnancy, but STIs/HIV as well. 

Beth De Santis, SC Campaign CEO, says continued focus on high risk populations such as youth in foster care and juvenile justice, youth not in school and not working, as well as youth who have already become parents, will help to accomplish continued success.  “With 4,020 births to teens in 2015, we must find solutions when it comes to reaching youth where they need it the most.  We are focusing our work on parent-child communication, the best of comprehensive health education, the medical community and normalizing conversations about love, sex and relationships.  It has been and always will be a collective effort that prevents teen pregnancy.”

About the South Carolina Campaign: 

The mission of the SC Campaign is to improve the health and economic well-being of individuals, communities and the state of South Carolina by preventing teen pregnancy. To achieve its mission, the SC Campaign works with a variety of programs – public, private, school and community based – in all regions of the state.  For more information on this news release, county specific teen birth data or general inquiries please visit