Cleveland Teens Team Up With University to Teach Safer Sex
July 1, 2013
Every year, tens of thousands of Americans are diagnosed with HIV. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a staggering one out of four people who are diagnosed with HIV are between the ages of 13 and 24. In Ohio in 2012 the state saw a rise in the number of new cases of HIV in Cuyahoga County, the most populated county in the state. Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland works with a group of local teens to do something about it.
The university has selected four local teens to be part of its Infectious Disease Alliance. These teens work as peer educators and talk to other young people about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), contraception, rape and other sexuality-related topics. They also host weekly community events for teens to spark discussions about sexuality and create campaigns targeted at young people living in areas where there are high rates of HIV.
In Ohio, schools aren’t required to teach about contraception or safer sex, so many schools don’t teach teens about condoms, which are 98-percent effective at preventing pregnancy and highly effective at preventing the transmission of STDs. This program is great because it gets the whole community involved in educating each other about sexuality, as well as provides young people with the knowledge they need to protect themselves from STDs. It teaches about what might not be covered in school and provides young people with the information they need and deserve to help them make good choices about their sexual health.