Did you know that about one in four teens has a sexually transmitted disease (STD)? If left untreated, STDs can lead to pretty serious lifelong problems, including infertility.
Every parent wants his or her child to be healthy. While educating teens about STDs can be a sensitive and challenging task, providing your teen with information and resources about STD prevention is one step towards a healthier future.
With an overwhelming amount of questionable information available to your teen online, we recognize finding reliable information about STDs is difficult. That is one of many reasons that led the Office on Women’s Health (OWH) to develop Know The Facts First with the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors and the National Coalition of STD Directors.
Know The Facts First, a national public health awareness campaign, is aimed at providing teen girls, ages 13-19, with accurate information about STDs and STD prevention so that they can make informed decisions about sexual health. The campaign’s website, KnowTheFactsFirst.gov, offers a single place for teens to get straightforward information about STDs and how to protect themselves.
The campaign focuses on girls because their bodies are biologically more susceptible to STDs and they experience more damaging effects from undiagnosed and untreated STDs (e.g., chronic pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, cervical cancer, and more). However, the campaign is also relevant to teen boys who face the same kinds of questions, worries, and pressures about sex as teen girls.
Through the campaign, teens will see print and video public service announcements and advertisements in malls, magazines, schools, movie theaters and on television and online. Partner organizations also will help disseminate messages directly to teens and adults who work with teens.
When you are ready to discuss sexual health with your teen, the campaign offers easy-to-understand information about STDs, how to prevent STDs and where to get tested. No more deciphering what is really true—you and your teen can learn the facts together. This resource can help teens ask the right questions, engage in informed conversations and in return, have healthier relationships.
This blog post was submitted on behalf of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health.