The purpose of PREP is to carry out evidence-based programs designed to educate adolescents on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually-transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS.
PREP will work with individual school districts to create customized intervention and education programs addressing the prevention of teen pregnancy and STDs. Additional instruction will include adult preparation subjects to prepare young people for adulthood by implementing some activities that address healthy activities, positive adolescent development, financial literacy, parent-child communication skills, education and employment preparation skills and healthy life skills.
GOAL: To empower adolescents with the knowledge to make safer reproductive health choices and prevent the spread of STDs.
Perspectives of students, educators and professionals on Mississippi's teen pregnancy problem appear in a new video from MSDH and the Women's Fund of Mississippi (see above). View full-size video »
- 76% of Mississippi high school students say they have had sex by the end of 12th grade.
- One-third of all babies born in Mississippi are to teenage mothers.
- Teen mothers are less likely to complete high school. Only one-third receive a high school diploma.
- Mississippi has the highest rates of both chlamydia and gonorrhea in the nation.
- Mississippi had the highest teenage birthrates in the United States in 2009.
- Mississippi's teen birth rate was more than one and a half times the national average in 2009 (64.1 vs. 39 births per 1,000).
- 83.5% of births to women 19 and younger were unintended.
- The children of teen mothers have lower birth weights, are more likely to perform poorly in school, and are at a greater risk of abuse and neglect.
- Sons of teen mothers are 13% more likely to end up in prison, while teen daughters are 22% more likely to become teen mothers themselves.
- About four-fifths of Mississippi's spending on teen births goes to mothers under the age of 18.
- Teen childbearing in Mississippi cost taxpayers $155,000,000 in 2009.
- Each $1.00 invested in teen pregnancy prevention saves taxpayers an average of $4.34 in the first year and $17.23 over 5 years, a 1,723% return on investment.
- For county-by-county information please visit the Mississippi Economic Policy Center.
Office of Preventive Health
Mississippi State Department of Health
570 East Woodrow Wilson
Jackson, MS 39215