Posts Tagged ‘safe sex’

10

Oct

What guys need to know about birth control

 

Using condoms is a good idea, even if she’s on birth control. Here’s why.

If you had sex without a condom, you may have an STD. The only way to know for sure is to get tested. Many Pennsylvania Reproductive Health Centers offer free and confidential testing for teens 17 and under.

3

Jul

Welcome to the Man Cave

 

A few short months ago, we asked you, the users of SafeTeens, what part of the site you most wanted to see expanded. When the votes were counted and the dust settled, one thing was clear: Pennsylvania’s teens are practically squealing – er, grunting – for a Man Cave that is interesting, informative and reliable.

That’s why we were stoked to finish up Men’s Health Month in June with a grand re-launch of the Man Cave. While before today, the Man Cave occupied only a small corner of the SafeTeens universe, today, it has grown much larger, tackling many questions and anxieties central in the lives of guys.

In the Man Cave, you’ll find lots of information – information on sex and health and girls and other guys – but if you stay awhile, you’ll leave with something much more: a deeper, more complete understanding of what it means to be a man in the twenty-first century.

Without a doubt, such an understanding is needed – and longed for – now more than ever. During no other time in the history of the world have so many conflicting ideas existed all at once about what it means to be a man. We built the Man Cave to set the record straight and put rumors to rest, and hopefully, too, to lessen the anxieties and uncertainties all guys develop between boyhood and adulthood.

This is only the beginning. We do not plan to launch the Man Cave and walk away. In the coming months, we will make the Man Cave more interactive, more relevant and more impactful. We’ll delve into more topics: risk-taking, homophobia, sexism, bullying, gangs, violence. All the while, we’ll be asking your advice. Like the decision to expand the Man Cave to begin with, the future directions the Man Cave takes will be determined by your desires and interests. Because of that, we know that the best days of the Man Cave are yet to come.

15

May

Do You Know What Your Risk Is? Need-to-Know Statistics About STDs

 

Summer is just around the corner, and many teens are looking forward to relaxing, hanging out with friends, and maybe even spending some time alone with that special someone. Before you get too cozy, you should learn a little bit more about STDs and how to protect yourself. Spring is a perfect time to educate yourself about your risks, raise awareness about the importance of getting tested and go get yourself tested for any possible STDs you may have.

One of the most important parts of STD prevention is education. Many organizations, such as MTV’s Get Yourself Tested have started campaigns to raise awareness about STD risks. The more aware you are of your risks, the less likely you will be to develop a disease. How much do you know about your chances of getting an STD? Here are some statistics to keep in mind when choosing to keep yourself safe:

-Each year, there is an estimated 19 million cases of STDs in the U.S. Nearly half of those cases are sexually active people between the ages of 15 and 24.

-1 in 2 sexually active people will get an STD by the age of 25.

-STDs are not only passed through intercourse. Some may spread through oral sex as well. It’s important to be aware of your partner’s history, keeping yourself safe during any sexual contact.

-STDs such as Chlamydia, which is the most common STD in the U.S. with over 3 million people infected each year, have little to no symptoms. This makes it easy for someone to carry a disease and not even know it, evidently passing it on to their partner.

-Research has found that it is necessary for teens to be checked for HIV. 1 in 2 infected teens aren’t aware that they have the disease.

-Although there isn’t a cure for all, there is a treatment for 100% of STDs. The earlier you detect an infection, the easier it will be to treat. All STDs can be controlled and most can be cured through the use of different medicines. Four STDs that are currently incurable are Hepatitis B, Genital Herpes, Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

STD awareness is an important part of your sexual health. There are several locations where you could receive confidential, free or low cost STD tests.  Find a center in your area and take control over your sexual health by getting you and your partner tested.

26

Jan

STDs: What You Need To Know To Stay Safe

 

Several things are sure to run through your mind when making the decision to have sex. But which ones are the most important? What do you absolutely need to do before you do anything? It is important to pay close attention to one of the biggest factors: keeping yourself safe by avoiding potential risks for a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

STDs, sometimes referred to as STIs, affect more than 12 million Americans each year. STDs can be transmitted through any type of sexual contact and it is important to understand your risks to keep yourself safe from infection. Here are some useful tips to keep in mind when choosing to be sexually active:

-Communicate: It is important to be able to openly discuss potential sexual health risks with your partner. Having an open line of communication builds trust and allows you to learn about your partner’s sexual past, addressing anything that may be an issue when becoming sexually active.

-Get Tested: Several STDs have no noticeable symptoms, so it is easy to assume you are STD-free when you aren’t. The only sure way to find out is to get tested. If you or your partner feel uncomfortable getting tested, go together. This ensures that you are both safe and may give each other some comfort in knowing that you are not alone.

-Practice Safe Sex: Not only is it important to use a condom every time you are sexually active, it is also important to make sure it is used correctly. When used incorrectly, a condom can put you at risk for STDs, so make sure you or your partner are aware of its correct use.

-Avoid Being Sexually Active when Drugs/Alcohol are a Factor: When at a party, you’re bound to have a lot of influence around you. It is hard, if not impossible, to make smart decisions when choosing to be sexually active under the influence. Avoid potential risks to your sexual health by making these decisions with a clear head rather than in the moment.

-Always be Prepared: When heading out, it is always important to prepare yourself for potential sexual activity. Although a female may expect a male to worry about the protection, it’s important for both genders to take caution. Being prepared for any possible situation will help you keep the status of your sexual health in your own hands.

The decision to have sex is an important one, but even more important is the decision to stay safe. Keep these tips in mind to ensure you stay in good sexual health when being sexually active.

9

Jan

Should Teens Be Tested For HIV?

 

Some recent reports on the news have said that doctors are urging regular HIV tests for teens 16 and older. There’s a lot of research behind this recommendation, so we wanted to dig in and find out exactly what it means for teens.

The new recommendation comes from the American Academy of Pediatrics, who are leaders in health recommendations for kids and teens. They found that in 2006, 1.1 million HIV-positive people were living in the U.S. and 5% of those were teens. Maybe that doesn’t seem like a lot, but teens are more reluctant to test for HIV, and as a result 1 out of 2 infected teens don’t know they have HIV, and are much more likely to spread it.

The first thing to note is that this new recommendation is for teens who are sexually active – that includes all types of sex, including intercourse. In particular, in areas where HIV is more common, it’s more important to get tested if you are sexually active. If you are having sex and haven’t been tested, it’s a good idea for you and your partner to both go so that you know your status. Knowledge is power and it will help you make better decisions in the future.

In addition, if a teen does test positive for HIV, they can begin treatment, which can help them live a long and healthy life. The sooner treatment starts, the better. They can also take more steps to help prevent the transmission of the virus.

The bottom line is, if you’re sexually active, it’s time to get tested. Make HIV and STD testing one of your 2012 resolutions and become a healthier you!