Thursday, June 4, 2009

What Are Teens Are Saying About Sex

ATTITUDES ABOUT SEX HAVE CHANGED"My attitude about sex has changed because I have already lost my virginity, and I always thought that after you have sex you couldn't change your mind and say 'no' anymore. I've done stupid things and should have been monogamous, but now I'll wait until I find my companion for life because having sex is so serious." Rene"My attitude was always to wait until I am married to have sex, but now I know not to make any exceptions. Sex is not a game, and it is not harmful if you just wait! It won't kill you to wait, but it might if you don't!" Patricia"I was going to have sex with my girlfriend on her birthday, but now that you came, I am just going to wait until I get married and wait for the right person." Victor"I want to wait because there are no risks, and I can't get pregnant if I'm a virgin. Plus, my parents won't be disappointed in me." Melissa"I never really thought about waiting until I was married, but all this information that you taught us has changed my attitude!" Arthur"I was planning on having sex before getting married, but not now! I know it is not worth it." Harveyback to top
AVOIDING FUTURE PROBLEMS BY WAITING"If I have sex before marriage I may get a disease, my relationship with my parents would be hurt, and all the plans I have for the future might never come true. That is why I choose to wait!" Maria
"It's dumb to waste your education, your dreams, and maybe your life on a mistake like not waiting!" Dena"Having sex before marriage will take the 'magic' away from your honeymoon!" Jacobback to top
COMMITTED TO WAITING"You should wait no matter what, and if you want to have sex with someone, you should get married!" Leslie"I'm going to wait until I'm married to have sex. I made a commitment to myself and to God that I would wait until the proper time - marriage!" Irene"If you wait until marriage to have sex you will not regret it when you do get married." Estela"I've chosen to wait until marriage to have sex. Many people say, "You can't do that!" But I say, "Oh, yes I can. Just watch me!" Francis"I'm convinced that waiting to have sex until you are married is best. You will be happier and will have no regrets." Rosemaryback to top
FRIENDS WHO HAVE SEX"I thought just because my friends do it, I should do it But now I feel I don't have to be following my friends. I choose to wait until marriage to have sex. I just wish my friends would too." Lawrence"I see my friends just using it for pleasure and not for love and that scares me! I am going to wait! There's no reason why I should give something up that will be worth more to me at the right time - marriage." Teresaback to top
HURTING FUTURE LOVED ONES"If you have sex before you are married, you might ruin your loved one's life in the future." David"I know that I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I had sex before marriage and got AIDS and then gave it to my husband or my children." Nancy"I don't want to have sex before I get married because I don't want to die young, and I would not want to give a disease to the person I love or to my child." Eddie"I will wait until I am married. There's no reason to risk hurting someone I love - my future wife." Marcus"I know I will wait to have sex, because I don't want to hurt myself or my wife later on." Charlie"It is far better to choose not to have sex before marriage so you do not hurt the one you love when you are married." Gabriel"I am going to wait to have sex after I am married, so I'll be a virgin and won't give my wife an STD or HIV." Thomas
"I want to wait so I won't put my future family in jeopardy. I couldn't stand giving my kids and husband AIDS. They deserve to live." Lauraback to top
NOT WORTH THE RISK!"It is not worth the risk you take to have one night of pleasure and nine months of pain and maybe all your life of pain." Yesenia"It's not worth losing your life for one brief moment of pleasure!" Darlene"Choosing abstinence is the best choice if you don't want to wreck your life!" Julie"I think I am far better off waiting than risking my life for only a short, enjoyable time and night." Yvette"I am going to wait until marriage, because I don't want to worry about STDs." Sergio"Having sex before marriage is bad because there are many consequences of doing it. Many of those consequences will affect you for the rest of your life, and it just isn't worth it!" Ericback to top
SECONDARY VIRGINITY"If you make a bad mistake by having sex as a teenager, it's okay. Life goes on. However, you must choose to stop and wait - secondary virginity." Brandon"I had sex once, and since I've been in this class, I learned that there is nothing more important than your life, so I will choose secondary virginity." Tiffany
TRUE LOVE"I choose to wait because I don't want to make stupid decisions and I want to experience it with my true love - my future husband." Kristin"Not everyone is having sex. It is okay to say ‘no'. If a person does not respect your decision to wait, they don't really love you. They are just thinking of themselves." Erica"I am not going to have sex before I get married, because I want the experience to be a good one not a bad one, and to have sex with someone I truly love and who loves me back." Michael"It is better to wait because it's important for sex to be special - something you only share with one person, your husband or wife." Angelica"I am going to wait until I am married to have sexual intercourse so I can enjoy my first sexual experience with my wife more." Marcos"I'll wait until I'm married to have sex so it will be special." Dee"I choose to wait until marriage that way I could save myself for my husband." Carmen.
"My virginity is something I want to keep and share with my husband." Darlene"I am going to wait until I am married to have sex, because I don't want to worry about STDs. My friends keep making fun of me because I am a virgin. But at least when I get married, I won't have any diseases!" Sergio"When I realized condoms are not 100% safe and every 10 seconds a teenager gets infected with an STD, I decided to remain a virgin until my wedding night." Vanessa"Now I plan to wait until marriage because I've realized that being a virgin is something smart and safe! There are NO regrets that way!" Sonia"I learned that there are over 20 STDs you can get if you decide to have sex which, in my view, is very stupid! My virginity is very important to me, and I intend to keep it that way!" Maricela"Virginity is one of the most important gifts we have." Natalie"Virginity should be one of the most important factors when you are in a relationship." Patricia"Hold onto your virginity. It will keep you from a pregnancy or an STD so you can do whatever you want in life." Pat


All of us long to be loved and accepted by others. We want to "be included" in the group, to belong to those we see as important: parents, relatives, friends, boyfriends or girlfriends, and if we choose to marry, our husbands or wives. The need to be loved and accepted is undoubtedly one of the greatest needs any of us has. We are born with that need, and most of us spend much of our lives seeking to find and experience it.But it isn't just a matter of finding people who love and accept us, but we also want people who honestly enjoy being around us. They enjoy our company, and go out of their way to spend time with us. When we find these kinds of people, we know they approve of us - they not only love and accept us, but they actually like us.We also long to experience a degree of affection - to have people who will put their arms around us and draw us close; people who will hug us from time to time; people who will even go so far as to give us a kiss, perhaps on the cheek or on the lips. We need the warmth of physical contact which comes with physical displays of affection. It helps to convince us that indeed we are loved and accepted by others.All of this brings us to the topic of dating and marriage. Not everyone gets married. However, because nearly everyone does, it is important to remember that one of the most important decisions any of us will ever make is deciding which person we will marry, and because dating usually leads to marriage, let's take a look at both of them.back to top
DECIDING WHO WILL YOU DATE AND MARRYIf choosing a marriage partner is one of the most important decisions of your life, and if it is true that you will marry someone you dated, then it is very important for you to make good decisions about which persons you will date. (The word "date" as it will be used in this section simply means a person you relate to as your boyfriend or girlfriend. So even if you cannot officially "go out on a date" until you are older, it is possible you still might have a boyfriend or girlfriend relationship prior to that time.)So what are you looking for in a future husband or wife? In other words, what qualities or characteristics do you hope to find in the person you will someday marry and hopefully spend the rest of your life with? Maybe you have never given this any thought, but perhaps you should. You see, if you have no idea what you are looking for in a husband or wife, then how will you know what to look for in someone you might date? Many young people start boyfriend-girlfriend relationships with people they are simply attracted to without taking time to see what kind of person he or she is. That person might be good looking, funny, popular, and interested in you. That's great. But what is he or she really like deep down inside? After all, what's on the inside is of greater importance than what is on the outside. Physical appearances will change, but the inner qualities (or lack of them) may last a lifetime.back to top
CHARACTERISTICS YOU WANT IN YOUR FUTURE MARRIAGE PARTNERTherefore, we invite you to take a moment to look over the list of qualities and characteristics listed below. These are the top thirty qualities or characteristics Teen Choices students have come up with through the years. They are not in any particular order, but as you read through the list, which ones do you believe are the most important ones? Why not take a piece of paper, and write down your top ten. Think of it this way: You would never marry someone who did not have at least these ten qualities or characteristics. Therefore, is it safe to say you wouldn't ever choose to become seriously involved - date - someone who did not have these qualities? Right? Have some fun with this. You may be surprised at what you discover about yourself from this little exercise.
Good Personality
Good Communicator
Good Parent
Good Reputation
Sense of Humor/Funny
Loves and Accepts Me
Good Moral Values
Not Abusive
Not Jealous
Same Religious Faith
Accepted by my family
Friendship Sensitive
Did you find it hard to choose ten or was it difficult only choosing ten? Either way, hopefully this helped you see that there are a number of important characteristics you hope to find in someone you would date and possibly marry.So what are you going to do in the future when it comes to choosing who will be your boyfriend or girlfriend? Why not be very selective in who you even start to get seriously involved with. Take time to get to know that person before you make any commitment to be his or her girlfriend or boyfriend. As you get to know the person, perhaps he or she is attractive, has a good personality, and a good sense of humor. But you may also realize that this individual is not always respectful of you and others or you sense that he or she is not exactly the "faithful-type". You deserve to date and ultimately marry someone you can trust, someone who will always treat you with respect, someone who is perhaps your best friend, someone who will always be faithful and true "until death". Don't settle for anyone who does not meet your expectations, and you will never regret it.back to topFAITHFULSpeaking of expectations, we at Teen Choices have taught more than 30,000 teenagers, and when our high school students were asked which of the above characteristics were their three most important ones, we discovered something very interesting. Nearly all of our students chose faithful as one of the top three characteristics they would look for in someone they would date and choose to marry. It seems almost everyone feels being faithful and true is a high priority. When students are asked why faithfulness was so important, here are some of the most common kinds of responses. They want to marry someone who will:
be "totally devoted" to them
not "betray" them by having an affair with another person
not "bring home an STD" from someone they had sex with
be "true to them for the rest of their lives"
"respect" them enough to never "cheat" on them
"love and accept" them long after the wedding day
back to topVIRGINS AND FAITHFULNESSAnother characteristic that is high on the list of many teenagers is marrying someone who is a virgin. Now people who are not virgins often get married, and make excellent husbands and wives. But teens say there are a lot of advantages to marrying someone who has never had sex - a virgin. Below is a list of some of the most common advantages teens give for wanting to marry a virgin. If they marry a virgin they say the person they marry:
will not have an STD
probably will not be HIV-infected (unless they got it from a blood transfusion or some other means)
will not have a child from a previous boyfriend or girlfriend relationship
will never compare them to anyone else sexually because they have never had sex with anyone else
will help make sex a special, unique experience (if neither has had sex before)
has shown a great deal of respect and love for those he or she has dated by refusing to have sex with any of them
will be more likely to be faithful to them in the years ahead
There's that word again - faithful. Let's talk more about this. Suppose there was this teenager who thought it was no big deal to have sex with any girlfriend of his. So he has sex when he is 15 with some girlfriend, and then a year later, he has sex with his new girlfriend. A couple of years later he has a new girlfriend, and before long he starts having sex with her. Eventually he goes off to college, meets this young woman, and - you guessed it - he starts having sex with her, and eventually marries her. As you probably know, there are a number of teens who are just like this guy: They don't think there is anything wrong with having sex with their current girlfriend or boyfriend. After all, they think, a lot of people do it.But suppose there is another guy. For a variety of reasons, he does not think it is right to have sex with anyone he is not married to. He has a girlfriend when he is 15, but even though it is tempting and some of his friends are sexually active, he is determined not to have sex with her. He is committed to waiting until marriage. But a year or so later, he has a brand new girlfriend. Once again, he is tempted to become sexually involved with her, but he is strong in his decision to wait, so he doesn't have sex with her either. After all, he believes it isn't right to have sex with anyone besides his wife. Now he is in college, and he meets this fantastic girl. Before long, he is madly in love with her. However, he still does not believe it is right to have sex with anyone unless he is married to her, so he doesn't. Several years go by, and he decides she is the one he wants to marry and spend the rest of his life with. She agrees to marry him, and soon they get engaged. However, he still believes it is wrong to have sex with anyone he is not married to, and so six months after he and his fiance get engaged, their wedding day finally arrives, and they become husband and wife. The first person he has sex with is with his wife on their wedding night.Now here is the question: Since marrying someone you believe will be faithful to you is probably one of your highest priorities, which of these two guys do you think is more likely to be faithful? The first guy who didn't see anything wrong with having sex with any girl he dated or the second one who stayed true to his commitment to wait until his wedding night to have sex? Now obviously there are no guarantees, but most, if not all of you, probably would choose the second one like most of our high school students. Why? Because the second guy - the one who chose not to have sex prior to marriage - proved he could control his sexual desires, so he is far more likely to be the faithful-type. The first guy chose not to control his sexual desires, so we have no reason to believe he will control his sexual desires in the future. For all we know, if he meets some woman he is attracted to years after he gets married, he may think, "It's not so bad having sex with someone other than my wife. After all, a lot of people have ‘affairs' ."You see, if you marry a virgin, you are marrying someone who has shown a great deal of sexual self-control, so sexual self-control can be added to our list of advantages for marrying someone who has never had sex, i.e., a virgin. In short, faithfulness requires sexual self-control, so if you want to marry someone who is likely to be faithful and true to you, why not marry a virgin or someone who has chosen "secondary virginity" (he or she already had sex some time ago, but then decided not to do it again until his or her wedding day). Both virgins and secondary virgins show sexual self-control - one of the primary ingredients in faithfulness, which is a characteristic we all hope to find exhibited in the one we marry.back to top
One final note along these lines. If you yourself want to be faithful to your future husband or wife, you should make a decision right now to wait until marriage to have sex (abstinence) or stop doing it until you get married (secondary virginity). As mentioned above, both require sexual self-control, but the person who refuses to control himself or herself sexually is a person who is not very strong and probably cannot be trusted to remain true to his or her future marriage partner. Think about it.There is a great deal more to be discussed about dating and marriage. However, let us conclude by listing several things which will help you and other teens enjoy your dating relationships without a lot of serious consequences, guilt, and regret. Carefully read through these items, evaluate your perspective toward each item, and then make a decision as to what you will do in the future for your sake, the sake of those you date, and for the sake of anyone you may someday marry.back to top
1. Make a commitment to wait.It is a known fact that young people who make pledges to remain virgins are far less likely to have sex than those who have not.
2. Find a friend who has the same commitment.Having a close friend who not only feels the way you do but will help you stick with your decision to wait.
3. Say "No" With Confidence.Choosing not to have any kind of sexual relationship before you get married is nothing to be ashamed of! Your words and your actions should make it perfectly clear that when you say "no" to someone who tries to talk you into having sex, you mean "no". Those who truly love you will respect your decision to wait.
4. Set your standards well in advance.Know exactly where you are going to "draw the line" (how far is far enough) in physically expressing your affection. There is a simple rule you should consider following: Never allow anyone to touch you anywhere your underwear touches whether over or under your clothes. If you stick with this decision and don't do anything more than hug and kiss, you will avoid all serious consequences, and will never have any regrets.
5. Let your decision be known.As a relationship begins to grow, let your boyfriend or girlfriend know the standards you have set. You may want to explain why you feel the way you do, but you shouldn't have to. Your decision to wait until marriage is a decision others who truly care about you will accept. It is also important to tell your friends you've decided to wait, and encourage them to do the same.
6. Do not get involved with someone you think might try to pressure youYour decision about sex is one of the most important decisions you will ever make, so why waste time with someone who does not respect your decision?
7. Avoid risky places and situations.Don't allow yourself to get into a situation where it may be hard to hold to your commitment to wait. For example, don't be alone with a boyfriend/girlfriend in a secluded place, don't go to parties where there is no adult supervision, and don't drink alcohol or use drugs.
8. Avoid sexually explicit movies, music, and TV programs.Many of the lyrics in today's songs and the programs on TV or at the movies lead people to believe that "everybody's doing it" and "nothing bad will happen" if you do. The facts make it clear that neither of these is true.
9. Avoid using alcohol or drugs.Alcohol and other drugs dramatically affect your ability to control your actions, so your chances of having sex greatly increase if you are under the influence of some drug. (NOTE: One study found that 60% of women who got infected with an STD were drunk at the time, and 90% of rapes on college campuses happen when one or both of the people involved have been drinking.)
10. Plan your dates.Don't just "get together" without specific plans. Decide what you will do on each date, so you won't find yourself in a situation where it might be very difficult for you to stick with your decision not to have sex.
11. Weigh the consequences.Whenever you are tempted to have sex, remind yourself of some of the problems you might experience such as unplanned pregnancies, STDS, AIDS, emotional pain, feeling used, getting a bad reputation, and guilt.
12. If someone keeps pressuring you, break off the relationship.True love never pressures anyone to do something that might hurt that person, but always respects others enough to wait!
(The above tips were adapted from Joe S. McIlhaney, M.D., SEX: WHAT YOU DON"T KNOW CAN KILL YOU, pages 100-103.)back to top
FINAL THOUGHTSHopefully the information contained in this section will be helpful as you move through this period in your life called dating which, for most of you, will lead to marriage. There are a lot of decisions you will have to make during this time in your life, but please keep the following things in mind:
You alone can decide who you will choose to be your boyfriend or girlfriend;
You alone can decide to control your sexual desires by choosing to wait until marriage to have sex or to stop having sex until you get married;
You alone can decide how far you will go (where you will "draw the line") in physically showing your love and affection for those you date;
You alone can decide how best to let others know you will not engage in any kind of sexual relationship before marriage;
You alone can choose not to allow others to pressure you into doing things you honestly don't feel are right for you;
You alone can decide not to drink alcohol, do drugs, or anything else which might cause you to make bad decisions when you are with others especially boyfriends or girlfriends;
You alone can decide whom you will marry;
You alone can decide to remain faithful and true to the one you marry.
What conclusions can be drawn from the above information? Generally speaking, are 12 to 14 year olds far more likely to have sex with their boyfriend or girlfriend than older adolescents? Indeed they are. That explains why it is obvious that the earlier serious relationships ("dating") begins, the more likely the young person will become sexually involved. Therefore, this information explains why many parents do not want their children to get "too serious" with a boyfriend or girlfriend at a young age. In fact, a number of parents through the years have discouraged or even forbidden their young adolescents to date until they are at least 16 years of age. This research would indicate that this is probably a good idea. (Echenique, Jeannie, USA TODAY, "Early Dating May Lead To Early Sex", November 5, 1986, p. D1.)Another interesting fact is that once teenagers start having sex, they are more likely to have several sexual partners before they get married. The Centers for Disease Control study1 on premarital sexual experience among adolescent females reported that of the girls who became sexually active before the age of eighteen, 75% had had two or more partners, and 45% had had four or more. It may be of interest to also note that young people who had sex by the age of 15 were more likely to be dissatisfaction with their current marriage and their current sex life2 as


Is HIV infection a serious problem for young people in America? The following facts indicate that HIV infection is occurring at an alarming rate among teens in the U.S. (The information below was found in a textbook entitled, AIDS UPDATE 1999 which was written by Gerald J. Stine. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1999.)
At least two (2) teenagers in America become HIV-infected each hour! That is approximately 350 each week engage in some kind of risky behavior, e.g., have sex, and become infected. (This number is expected to increase dramatically in the next five to ten years according to the Office of National AIDS Policy).
One-fourth (25%) of all new HIV infections in the U.S. is an individual between the ages of 13 and 20.
Federal health agencies estimate that teenagers make up about 20% of the HIV-infected population.
AIDS is the sixth leading cause of death among persons aged 15 to 24.
60% of new HIV infections in women now occur during their adolescent years.
More than 500,000 people in the United States under the age of 29 are HIV-infected.
34% of all heterosexual adults with AIDS were infected as teenagers.
85% of adolescent females contracted HIV infection through heterosexual intercourse.
COLLEGE STUDENTS AND AIDSTwo out of every 1,000 college students are HIV-infected. Therefore, with 12,5 million students enrolled in American colleges and universities, the rate of 2 in 1,000 means there are about 25,000 HIV-infected college students today.
According to the World Health Organization, a woman may be ten times more likely to get infected with HIV from a man than a man is from a women. Why? Because women are biologically more vulnerable to HIV infection than men due to the fact that there is a higher concentration of HIV in semen than there is in vaginal and cervical fluids. Furthermore, the vaginal area has a much larger area for exposure to HIV than the penis does, and during the act of sexual intercourse, the vagina often suffers microscopic abrasions causing certain immune system cells (lymphocytes) to be drawn to the area which in turn makes vaginal tissue more susceptible to HIV-infected semen. Normally, abrasions do not occur within the male urethra. (Gerald J. Stine, AIDS UPDATE 1999, pp. 331 & 337.)Because of the vulnerability to HIV-infection mentioned above, it is not too surprising that of the total reported cases of HIV infections acquired through heterosexual contact in the United States, 65% are women. Tragically, AIDS is currently the leading cause of death among women of child-bearing age in the United States and worldwide, every minute of every day, every day of the year, four women become infected with HIV, and every minute between one and two women die from AIDS in the world. Finally, beginning in 1997, about 50% of all new HIV infections in the world occur in women.
INFECTIONS AMONG HETEROSEXUALSThe World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that up to 90% of all HIV infections worldwide will be transmitted through heterosexual relationships.
Fifty-nine percent (59%) of all reported AIDS cases are the direct result of sex between men, and the chief of the retrovirology laboratory at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Dr. Robert Redfield, reports that 50 percent of male homosexuals in San Francisco are now infected with the HIV virus.
As stated above, AIDS is currently the leading cause of death among women of child-bearing age in the United States (Washington Post--Health, March 19, 1996, p. 5.), and every minute between one and two women die from AIDS in the world. Therefore, it is obvious that a growing number of children are being orphaned by AIDS, and experts project that unless the current trend shifts dramatically, about 144,000 children and young adults will have lost their mothers to AIDS by the beginning of the 21st century. (Washington Post--Health, March 19, 1996, p. 5 and
Though some people in the United States do not believe HIV infection and AIDS are serious problems in this country, the following facts reveal the reality of the effect HIV and AIDS are having upon this nation:
In the United States, for 1996, about 175 people a day were diagnosed with AIDS and between 120 and 200 a day become HIV-infected. Every 13 minutes, one person dies of AIDS in the United States. 50% of all new HIV infections in the U.S. are in people under 25 years of age.

The estimated number of HIV-infected persons in the United States is 1,200,000. ("The Global Epidemic", TIME, December 30, 1996-January 6, 1997,

More than 51 million people worldwide are now living with the AIDS virus. (Gerald J. Stine, AIDS UPDATE 1999, 16,000 new victims are infected every day. (The United Nations reports previous figures underestimated how widespread HIV-infection was by one-third.)
One in every 100 sexually active adults worldwide is infected with HIV.
Nine out of ten (90%) of HIV-infected people do NOT know it!
The epidemic has struck youth the hardest because most of HIV-infected individuals are under 25 years old. (Christopher Burns, "AIDS More Widespread Than Thought", (UNAIDS Report), The Associated Press, Nov. 26, 1997.)
Nearly half of those who died of AIDS in 1997 were women. (Christopher Burns, "AIDS More Widespread Than Thought", (UNAIDS Report), The Associated Press, Nov. 26, 1997.)
In 1997, 460,000 children under 15 died of AIDS. (Christopher Burns, "AIDS More Widespread Than Thought", (UNAIDS Report), The Associated Press, Nov. 26, 1997.)
Worldwide in 1996, every second six people became infected with HIV and every second three people died of AIDS! ("The Global Epidemic", TIME, December 30, 1996-January 6, 1997, p. 78).
Worldwide, beginning in 1999, of the 51 million people infected with HIV, 24.7 million have AIDS.
75% of HIV transmission worldwide is associated with vaginal intercourse.
The only way a person can know for sure whether or not he or she is HIV- infected is to have what is commonly called an "AIDS test". In actuality, the test does not determine who has AIDS, but who is infected with the AIDS virus, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
The more common test is called the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay or ELISA (el-i-sa). The test reveals whether a person has been exposed to HIV by detecting the presence of HIV antibodies, an indication that infection has begun.
How is the test performed? A sample of blood is taken from the arm and analyzed in a laboratory. If the first ELISA test is positive (which indicates the person is HIV-infected), a second ELISA test on the same blood sample is done. If the second test is positive, another test, called Western blot, is run to confirm the earlier results of the ELISA tests.
What does an "HIV-positive" test mean? It suggests that the person has HIV antibodies thus indicating the individual has been infected with the virus. However, it may take one to six months before a person gets an accurate AIDS test. An "HIV-negative" test means the tests did not reveal the presence of any HIV-antibodies. But there is such a thing as a "false negative", which simply means the person is infected, yet it is too early for it to show up in an AIDS tests. Individuals who think they might have been exposed to HIV should make sure they get tested at least six months after they feel they might have gotten infected. Studies have shown that 50% of HIV-infected persons show measurable HIV antibodies by 3 months after infection and 90% do by 6 months. A very small percentage of infected individuals may not get accurate tests for one year or more.
The first home HIV test, developed by a Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Direct Access Diagnostics, was approved by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) on May 14, 1996. Using the $ 40 test involves sending a dried blood sample to a certified laboratory for HIV antibody testing and calling for their results, identified by a number, a week later. If the test is negative, the caller hears a recorded message and has the option of speaking to a counselor. If the results are positive or inconclusive, the caller is connected to a counselor who can provide referrals to doctors.(NOTE: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that only 14 percent of people voluntarily tested received any counseling afterward and more than 60% of Americans at risk for HIV have NOT been tested.
When AIDS began to become known throughout the world in 1981, many people started promoting the use of condoms as a means of helping to reduce the risk of infection. Much of the literature concerning HIV and AIDS encourages people to "use protection", i.e., condoms. Emphasis on condom use might lead some to conclude that as long as condoms are used during sexual activity, it is almost impossible to become infected. But how effective are condoms in preventing HIV infection anyway?As you probably know, condoms are thin, protective tubes, generally made of latex, which are worn over the penis during sexual activity. Condoms are not only used in an effort to prevent HIV infection, but also to help prevent unplanned pregnancies and the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases such as genital herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, human papilloma virus, and syphilis.However, as the information below reveals, condoms may provide some protection against HIV infection, but there has never been any research which indicates that condoms ever work 100% of the time. Therefore, there is no such thing as "safe sex". Any kind of sexual relationship with someone who might be infected with the AIDS virus (HIV) is potentially dangerous even if a condom is used. The only 100% "safe sex" is abstinence - choosing to wait until marriage to have sex.Below is a list of research information regarding condom use and HIV infection. As you can see, there is no evidence that condoms will work all of the time. Therefore, every sexual relationship could lead to HIV infection and ultimately lead to someone's death. Why? Because most people infected with the AIDS virus do not know it (90%), and that HIV-infected person may be the one with whom you are having sex.
An issue of Social Science and Medicine reported that Dr. Susan Weller of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston analyzed 11 U.S. HIV studies to gauge condom effectiveness. From her research, Dr. Weller estimated that condoms are "only 69 percent effective in preventing heterosexual HIV transmission". This means the failure rate is approximately 31% or 1 out of 3."(Caught!", FOCUS ON THE FAMILY CITIZEN, April 18, 1994, p. 3.)
Nearly 1 in 3 will contract AIDS from infected partners with 100% condom use.(Dr. Margaret A. Fischl, Journal of the American Medicine Association, February 1987.)
A study carried out in Florida of heterosexual couples showed that 30% had become infected with HIV from their spouse even though they knew their partners were HIV-positive and they conscientiously used condoms.(Flechl M.A. et al., "Heterosexual transmission of HIV, relationship of sexual practices to zero conversion," III International AIDS Conference, Washington, D.C., 1987.)
A workshop sponsored by several U.S. government agencies concluded that some research indicates the failure rate of condoms in preventing HIV infection was approximately 15% when used during vaginal intercourse. In other words, 1 out of 6 failed to prevent HIV infection during this particular type of heterosexual behavior.("Workshop Summary: Scientific Evidence on Condom Effectiveness for Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Prevention." July 20, 2001. Available at: www.niaid.nih. gov/dmid/stds/condomreport.pdf.)
The Department of Health and Human Services released a report stating "there are no clinical data supporting the value of condoms in preventing HIV."(A. Parachini, "Condoms and AIDS: How Safe is 'Safe'?," Los Angeles Times, 18 August 1987.)
"We cannot tell people how much protection condoms give."(Dr. Malcolm Potts, one of the inventors of condoms lubricated with spermicides, and the president of Family Health International. "Condoms: Experts Fear False Sense of Security," The New York Times, August 18, 1987.)
"Health institutions have been telling people, 'for safe sex, use a condom.' Our point is that while the condom gives a measure of protection, there is no research to show the exact protection...If your life depends on how safe a particular brand of condom is, wouldn't you want to know its effectiveness?"
(Dr. Bruce Voeller, president of the Mariposa Foundation which specializes in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases.
The AIDS virus is 450 times smaller than the sperm cell
"You just can't tell people it's all right to do whatever you want so long as you wear a condom. It's just too dangerous a disease to say that."(Dr. Harold Jaffe, Center for Disease Control Chief of Epidemiology, "Condoms: Experts Fear False Sense of Security,"

I'll always miss you

look back on that day and really think of how much of a fool I was. To think that I would just forget about it and move on with my life was just a dream. It is still and will always be there. I aborted my unborn child, and no one close to me knows. I went to the clinic by myself. I drove the 45 minutes there and back. I walked past the protesters that walked up to my car to tell me I was a murderer. I walked the walk of shame opening the doors to my reality. The whole time not shedding a tear. Just staring at the other girls feeling worse for them then myself. I talked to a girl that was 15 weeks along. She was already showing. I was "lucky" because I was only 6 weeks. I found out I was pregnant on a Monday and was in the clinic that Wednesday. I wanted to just get it over with. And that's what I did. I laid back on the bed and stared at the butterflies and flowers on the ceiling. Waiting for everything to just be over. The doctor commented on my not making any sounds and I just closed my eyes waiting to get off of the horrible table. I walked down the hallway to the recovery room where other girls were sobbing and doubled over in pain. I didn't want the juice or crackers that the nurses offered me. I just wanted to leave. She told me I could go after changing and I wanted to run out of there. As I was leaving that girl that I had talked to had her blanket up to her nose sobbing her heart out. As I walked past her I reached for her hand and squeezed it. We looked at each other with the look that we had made the biggest decision of our lives and it was never going to be the same again. And it never has been. I still think about all of those girls that were in the clinic with me that day. How are they dealing with it all now? Does it go away or stay with you forever? Do they wonder what life would be with our children? I know I do. I wonder if he/she would have looked like me or the father. I look in his eyes every morning and see our child. A child that I'll never meet. A child that I'll never hold. A child I'll never kiss. But it is a child that I will always love with all my heart and I wish I could bring you back to me. I'm sorry I was weak and selfish. I'll never forgive myself and will always miss you.

I was 18 and Confused

just felt I needed to share my story. I was 18 and it was the end of march or beginning of april when I found out I was pregnant. My boyfriend and I (now fiance) were very confused on what to do. He had his deposit down for his college and I was about to do the same for the same school. When I told him the news he immediately dropped out of the college that was a few hours away and enrolled in community college for the fall. We both wanted to keep the baby but he also said he would stand by whatever decision I would make. We were together for almost 2 years when this happened. Well we told his parents first and they were really supportive. We both were 18 and had a strong relationship. My mom and family on the other hand were VERY angry. My mom kept pushing for abortion and I cried EVERYDAY because of the way my family was putting pressure on me. I did not know what to do so I went along with my family and had an abortion. I seemed like the only young woman there who actually cared about what I was about to do. I cried the entire time there and I knew my mom would be furious if I didn't go through with it. The procedure was painful physically and emotionally. I felt awful. I was so angry with myself. A few months went by since and my boyfriend finally confessed how he felt about the abortion. He cried to me about how much he was looking forward to being a daddy and he would have done whatever it took to help support us. I cried my eyes out that day because if I would have heard him say those words the day I had the abortion I would have walked right out of there. I confided in a close friend of mine about what happened and she turned her back on me and told people at school and before I knew it I was being harassed. Being called a baby killer and other really harsh comments were made. I went home crying EVERYDAY until graduation day. I was so afraid that someone would stand up at graduation when they announced my name and say something rude because that was how bad I was harassed. I'm a pretty quiet girl and never got in trouble in school but when this one girl in my English class kept making comments to her friend about me I got up in her face and cursed her out. I had about enough of everyone's taunting and harassing and she was the last straw. I was sent to the office but did not get in trouble, they were aware of the situation that was going on, which nothing was really done about it. I will never forget my senior year, it was the worst year of school, instead of remembering the good I will always remember the way my classmates treated me. I am now 21 and have a beautiful almost 3 month old son. He is my everything. I am still with my boyfriend and we're planning to get married within a year. I will never make that decision again and I regret listening to my mother. I still think about my son or daughter to this day. So girls before you go have an abortion really think it through especially if you really want to keep your baby. Don't let anyone else talk you out of it. It's your baby and that baby will love you for the rest of your life.

The National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy

The National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy a Success

Hundreds of thousands of teens nationwide participated in the eighth annual National Day to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. The purpose of the National Day is straightforward. Too many teens still think “It can’t happen to me.” The National Day helps teens understand that it can happen to them and that they need to think seriously about what they would do in the moment.
In 2009, more than 450,000 people partipated in online National Day activities—up from 300,000 in 2008. On the National Day, and throughout the entire month of May, teens nationwide were asked to go to The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy’s teen website – – and take a short, scenario-based quiz (available in English and Spanish). The quiz challenged young people to consider what they would do in a number of sexual situations. National Day Quiz discussion guides for parents and teens were also available and were downloaded thousands of times.
In addition to the National Day Quiz, thousands of teens entered the Stay Teen Relationship Reality Pop Quiz Contest by completing a short quiz about healthy relationships. The quiz application was available as a widget that teens could “grab” and put on their MySpace or Facebook profiles, blogs, and websites.
Each year, we ask teens to tell us what they thought about the National Day Quiz in a post-quiz evaluation survey and many do. Among the findings from this year’s survey:
74% said the Quiz made them think about what they might do in such situations;61% said the Quiz made the risks of sex and teen pregnancy seem more real to them;
56% said they’d learned something new from the Quiz about the consequences of sex;
62% said they’d talk to their friends about the situations described in the Quiz;
53% said the Quiz made them think about things they hadn’t thought about before;
54% said they’d encourage others to take the Quiz;
59% said some of the situations in the Quiz were things that they or their friends had faced; and
45% said they’d talk to their parents or other adults about the situations described in the Quiz.
Additionally, one-helf (50%) of the respondants reported taking the quiz as part of a school activity and 35% said they took the quiz at home. Nearly one-third of teens (31%) learned about the quiz from a parent, teacher, or another trusted adult and more than one-quarter (27%) of teens learned about the quiz from one of our National Day partners.
Partnerships. The National Campaign works with a variety of partners to make the National Day a success year after year.
National Partnerships. National Day partners include a diverse group of media outlets, health sector leaders, education leaders, businesses, youth-serving groups, groups representing elected officials, fatherhood and male involvement groups, faith-based groups, and other prominent national organizations. These groups promote the National Day to their members, affiliates, customers, audiences, and contacts in ways the National Campaign could never have afforded or accomplished on its own. For an up-to-date list of this year's National Day Partners, visit our Partners page.
Media Partnerships. Each year, The National Campaign works with a variety of online and traditional media partners to spread the word about the National Day. Among this year's partners are ABC, ABC Family, NBC, The N, Seventeen,, Maury, and many others. For more information about our National Day media partnerships, visit our Media Partners page.
State and Local Partnerships. The National Day continues to be a remarkable organizing event for states and communities nationwide. To help these state and local promotional efforts, the National Campaign develops and distributes a variety of teen-friendly materials—such as National Day wristbands and pens—to help raise awareness of the National Day among teens and adult professionals who work with teens. For a state-by-state breakdown of National Day activities, please visit our What's Happening in 2009? section. If you are organized a 2009 National Day event and don't see it listed on our site, please tell us about it.