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As many as 700,000 young, single men may be at "considerable risk" of being exposed to aids and other sexually transmitted diseases by having 10 or more sexual partners a year, according to a new government survey.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 4.6 percent of the unmarried men between 18 and 29 questioned said they had more than 10 sexual partners during the past year. When this percentage is applied to the total population, as many as 700,000 young men may have been that highly sexually active, the report states.

Scientists believe that promiscuity may lead to a greater risk of being exposed to aids.

The report also noted that, for most Americans, the risk of being infected by the disease is low. In a national survey of 1,481 men and women over the age of 18, 22 percent said they had been celibate during the past year and 60 percent said they had only one sexual partner.

Cdc statistics also reveal stark differences in the ways that black and white children are exposed to the aids virus.

According to a recent cdc study, nearly half of the white children under age 13 who have been diagnosed since 1981 as having aids had blood disorders or received blood transfusions. In contrast, nearly half of the black children found to have the disease over the past seven years had mothers with a history of intravenous drug abuse.

In a separate report, the cdc also found considerable gains in children's dental health over the past nine years.

Nearly two-thirds of the nation's schoolchildren are cavity-free, the cdc reports. But progress towards meeting 12 dental-health objectives established by the U.S. Public Health Service for 1990 has nonetheless been uneven, it says.

Its preliminary results from a national 1986-87 survey of children revealed a dramatic increase in the percentage of children without dental cavities, from 49 percent in 1979-80 to 65 percent in the latest study. But dental health remains a problem for many children, the agency notes, especially those from minority or lower socio-economic backgrounds.

Its report says it is unlikely that the government will reach its goal of having no schools or health-care facilities sell cavity-causing foods in vending machines or include them in breakfast or lunch menus.

It is also unlikely, the report maintains, that two other federal goals will be met: requiring all student athletes involved in contact sports to wear mouth guards and providing a fluoridated school-water supply to at least half of all children who live in fluoride-deficient areas.--ef

Vol. 08, Issue 07

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