Pueblo County has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the state, and health leaders are looking for new ways to tackle, what they call, an epidemic. Flyers are being passed out around Pueblo County advertising a teen sex study.
"The hope of the focus groups is to gain insight into teen behaviors as to why they're sexually active and to learn how we can change that activity," said Sarah Bruestle, spokesperson for the Pueblo City-County Health Dept.
It's a $50,000 accredited study funded by a grant from the Pueblo Dept. of Social Services. Sexually active teens, both with and without kids, will be paid to participate in focus groups.
The study is being conducted by John Snow, Inc., a Denver consulting firm that does research on health issues internationally. Pueblo health leaders will take information and recommendations from the study to start new programs for preventing teen pregnancy.
The goal is to get teen pregnancy rates down. In 2009, more than 350 babies were born to Pueblo County teen moms. Pueblo County ranks second in teen fertility rates in the state.
Focus groups start this month. Participants get $30 and some free food. The Health Department is looking for 13-19 year old males and females who are sexually active, and females 15-19 who have had a child. Females call 1-877-892-0999 Males call 1-877-371-0750