Vermont Tops Rankings of the First Annual State by State Safer Sex Index Sponsored by the Makers of Trojan™ Brand Condoms
Index ranks 50 states on sexual health indicators for an overall safer-sex score
News Release from Trojan Condoms
EWING, N.J., Sept. 15, 2015 -- Vermont claims the top spot in the first annual State by State Safer Sex Index ranking. The index, sponsored by the makers of Trojan™ Brand Condoms and conducted by Variance, LLC, brings attention to the state of sexual health nationwide by ranking states on two measures of safer sex: sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and contraception across eight (8) indicators. The STD indicator focuses on rates of gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV and the percentage of adults that have had HIV testing, while the contraception indicator measures the rate of teen births and school sex education policies for teaching contraception, condom use and HIV/STD education.
"With low rates of sexually transmitted diseases, and comprehensive sex education in schools, Vermont is a model in sexual health for the nation," said Martin Downs, Director & Principal Investigator of Variance, LLC. "We hope these rankings encourage states to see where they can improve."
The Northeast dominates the rankings with five states from the region scoring in the top 10. Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire secured the top three spots, with New Jersey and Rhode Island coming in No. 5 and No. 6 respectively. Regionally, the Northwest comes in second with Washington, Idaho and Oregon ranking No. 8, 9 and 10 respectively. Hawaii at No. 5 and West Virginia at No. 7 round out the top 10.
Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Mississippi, Georgia and Louisianaall placed in the bottom 10, making the South the lowest scoring region. Alaska at No. 42 and Nevada at No. 43 are the only bottom 10 states outside of the South.
Top 10 Safer Sex Index Scoring States
- 1. Vermont
- 2. Maine
- 3. New Hampshire
- 4. Hawaii
- 5. New Jersey
- 6. Rhode Island
- 7. West Virginia
- 8. Washington
- 9. Idaho
- 10. Oregon
Bottom 10 Safer Sex Index Scoring States
- 50. Louisiana
- 49. Georgia
- 48. Mississippi
- 47. Florida
- 46. Texas
- 45. Tennessee
- 44. Arkansas
- 43. Nevada
- 42. Alaska
- 41. Alabama
"We aim to create awareness around the State by State Safer Sex Index to provoke discussion and help bring about positive change at the individual and state level to improve sexual health," said Bruce Weiss, Vice President of Marketing for Trojan™ Brand Condoms. "We hope to influence sexually active Americans to make smart and informed decisions about their sexual health. As the most trusted name in protection, the makers of Trojan™ Brand condoms remains committed to providing couples everywhere with accessible information and products that provide protection and enhance pleasure."
Rankings and Methodology
The State by State Safer Sex Index, sponsored by the makers of Trojan™ Brand Condoms, is a subset of the Third Edition of the Sexual Health Rankings. The index ranks states on eight indicators of sexual health drawn from the main set of sexual health indicators used in the Sexual Health Rankings. The Sexual Health Rankings rank states based on indicators that influence sexual health, including laws, policies and human rights, education, society and culture, economics and health systems.
In the State by State Safer Sex Index, states are scored on two measures of safer sex: sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and contraception. These scores are added to get an overall safer-sex score for each state. The 50 states are ranked from best to worst by their overall score, with the No. 1 rank going to the state with the highest score. The highest-ranking states in the State by State Safer Sex Index have the best scores for STD prevention and contraception. The lowest-ranking states have the worst scores for both measures.
Each measure is made up of four closely associated indicators:
- HIV diagnoses, rate per 100,000 population
- Gonorrhea cases, rate per 100,000 population
- Syphilis cases, rate per 100,000 population
- Percent of adults reported ever receiving a HIV test
- State mandates if sex education is taught in schools must cover contraception
- State mandates if STD/HIV education is taught in schools must cover contraception
- Percent of high schools in which teachers taught essential condom use* topics
- Births to mothers aged 15-19, rate per 1,000**
* Four topics related to condom use include: 1) efficacy of condoms; 2) importance of using condoms consistently and correctly; 3) how to obtain condoms; and 4) how to correctly use a condom.
** Births to mothers aged 15-19 is the standard proxy statistic commonly referred to as the unintentional teen birth rate. Teen pregnancy prevention is one of the CDC's top six priorities, a "winnable battle" in public health, and of paramount importance to health and quality of life for our youth.
More details about the statistical methods used to produce the State by State Safer Sex Index can be found at the Sexual Health Rankings web site.