Thursday, April 4, 2013

Youth Perspective

Justice M.
CDHD intern
02 April 2013

Youth Perspective
            My name is Justice, and I am currently a senior attending the Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School. I began interning at the Central District Health Department in late January and have had a great experience working in reproductive health. The staff members in the reproductive health department are all welcoming and hard working. Getting yourself tested is scary, especially for teens. However, at the Central District Health Department there is little to be afraid of. The moment someone walks through the door they are welcomed in with a smile. From there, all the staff a person will encounter are quiet about what someone is coming in for, helpful with just about any situation, and above all the staff is comforting. Staff understands the uncomfortable feeling that goes with getting yourself tested, and is more than willing to help ease the nerves.
            In school people talk about it all the time. People are always talking about who is having sex with who. Truth of the matter is, not as many people are having sex as one may think. But none the less many teens begin to become sexually active through their school years. One thing teens have to understand about being sexually active is that now they have to be responsible for their body. Teens need to get tested. However, from experience I know that many teens in school are terrified of going to a clinic to get tested for sexually transmitted infections. Teens are scared for a variety of reasons. There is a feeling of being ashamed to get tested, of being judged, and a feeling that they may actually have a STI. Many people, not just teens, have the mentality that if one does not acknowledge something it will go away. This is untrue in many of the cases that it is used in, especially with STI’s. Teens need to know that getting tested is important. It is an act of pride, not shame, because they are taking the responsibility of their actions. Getting yourself tested means being mature about sex and the consequences it may have.
            I am a teenager and I have had the experience of getting tested. I have also been there for others who have been tested. Walking into a clinic is terrifying, even if you know that what you are doing is a good thing. Many teens I know have walked in trying to hold back tears because of the nerves that are firing at what it seems to be a million times per second. However, once you are in the clinic and have begun talking to staff they become a helpful resource. My advice would also be to bring a close friend along. Having a familiar face around, that is someone trustworthy, helps to lighten the nerves. Even if someone does not have a close friend available at the time, the staff will reassure that person that they are doing the right thing. A person will find zero judgment when coming to get tested. Instead a person getting tested will see that staff appreciates them for being mature and getting tested. Once someone has gone through all the routine tests and walk out of the clinic, it is a great experience to understand that they stepped up to accept responsibility for their actions.
            Being sexually active is normal. However, it is quite the experience to get tested as a teenager. It is nerve racking, but something that should be done. It is also something teens should take pride in because they took the responsibility upon themselves to get tested. I am a teenager and I have had the experience for myself. I am proud to have gotten myself tested and I hope that teens across the nation will take pride and get themselves tested.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Does having the sex talk with your teen or parent influence the decision to be sexually active?

Hello again. Sorry to keep you all waiting for the next blog! To complete this blog I conducted a survey to get multiple points of view on this issue of the “sex talk”. For the readers that did fill out a survey for me, your help was much appreciated! The age groups I targeted in my survey were the following: grandparent’s generation, parents’ generation, and the teen generation. One would think that people of the same generation would have similar answers and each generation’s answer would greatly differ from each other. However, I found this to not be the case. People of different generations are not always as different as we would sometimes like to believe.
            From my survey, I heard a broad spectrum of answers to my question “does having the sex talk with your teen or parent influence the decision to be sexually active?” Answers range from “I believe it does, communication is so important” to “it doesn’t, if a teen wants to have sex, what their parents say won’t change that”, and many in between. The main theme I noticed from those who said it did indeed influence their children’s choices was the idea that all a parent can do is educate their teen about the consequences and make sure they have the resources to protect themselves.  From those who said they didn’t believe it influenced their teen’s decisions, the main theme I noticed was ‘a teen will do what they want’. Which I feel is a negative way to approach things.
            Some things I noticed in doing this survey is that those who said talking doesn’t influence behavior, or were more negative about the topic, were not just people of our parent’s generation but people from our own generation as well. Which is interesting, one might think that all teens would feel the same due to current cultural perception of tension in a stereotypical teen-parent relationship. However, more teens felt that it did influence their decision through positive education and an open environment in which to discuss it. Other teens talked about how they are glad they had the talk because their friends didn’t, or they wish they would have had the talk with their parents and it would have influenced their decision. Many talked about their parents telling them ‘not until marriage’ ad that was all they got or how much they talked about how negative it is without saying why exactly.
            With the parent’s generation, not all parents felt that their teens wouldn’t listen to them; the number of people that felt it would help them make the right decision was impressive. There were also parents who talked about both sides of the situation. On one hand they really hope their teen makes the right decision, on the other hand they feel that if it is something the teen really wants to do they will do it but the parent may still have some influences on decision making.
            With the grandparent’s generation, few answered that teens will do what they want or expressed a negative view of the situation. Instead, most felt that education is the best thing for teens and hope they have the resources to make decisions wisely. This was interesting as there is an even greater public perception of an existing tension in a stereotypical teen-grandparent relationship.
            Now you may all be thinking “what is her opinion on the subject?” My opinion is that teens are often misunderstood, educating them on the subject thoroughly on issues such as protection, risks, etc. is the best thing a parent can do. I feel that if they continue to tell the teen how negative and bad it is there will be a more negative outcome. 

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Talking to your parents about sex, relationships, and the everyday pressures of being a teen.

               Sex seems to be the thing everyone is talking about, from 6th graders to older people (such as your grandparents) of both sexes and all sexualities. It’s all over in popular television shows and all over the internet. So naturally one would be safe to assume that it’s just a part of everyday life and society is comfortable with it… Wrong! I have friends who still get uncomfortable if the topic of sex is even slightly mentioned or hinted at. Why is it so weird? Well as I said previously I am going to be a senior in high school and those friends are my age. Those who attend church regularly learn, don’t have sex until you get married. This is a perfectly reasonable idea; however it doesn’t always work out that way. Before you decide to learn through “doing” with sex, ASK your parents. Now I am sure that it may be just as awkward for your parents to give you the sex talk as it is for you (the tween/teen) to receive it. However, it’s important to have it. I know some parents who are very blunt about the topic of sex. They tell their children what they expect out of them when it comes to sex. Such as “wait until marriage”, or “I really don’t want you to be having sex; however if you do please come to me so we can properly protect you against pregnancies/STI’s”.
               Now I know you may or may not be thinking, “yawn”, heard this a million times. But the reason for that is because it’s important. The more you (the teen/tween) talk to your parents about sex, the less uncomfortable it is when hinted at in a movie or the topic being brought up with friends. Just because you’re talking about the topic of sex, doesn’t mean you’re having it! Or even planning on having sex! That’s the big picture that people tend to miss.

Hello all.

Hello, my name is Amanda and I will be taking over the reveal for real blog. To start off, I would like to tell you about myself. I am a senior at Renaissance High School here in Meridian. After high school and undergraduate college, I plan to go onto med school and become an OB/GYN. Due to my interest in reproductive health; I plan to spend the summer volunteering here at the health department.
In my blog, I hope to reach young teens (such as myself) and young adults. I hope to educate that group on reproductive health and talk about issues you want to learn and discuss about.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Final Good Bye

Dear Audience,
Thank you for your time to take a look at my blog. I hope this was useful to you. I’m graduating on the 16th of May, this is my last day today. It has been fun to write these blogs for your concern. I will not be here, but if you have questions you could ask the Central Health District at Reveal for Real. I wish you best of luck.
Thank You

Healthy Relationships

From my own experience and from my friends most of them don’t really know what a healthy relationship looks like, even when they are in a relationship they still don’t know what a healthy relationship is like. When talking to my friends they would say they wish they would have known what a healthy relationship was before having one. Here are some tips to help you in relationship in future and present.
One thing to make sure of when you are in a relationship is both you and your partner have respect for each other. A good sign of, respect is honoring each other’s boundaries. For example, if your partner saying we are going too fast, a way you would show respect is by saying something like, “ok I respect your boundaries, and I’m sorry that I went too far.” “Would you like to do something else?” Also you need to stick with what you say in order to show respect.  A way for a partner to show respect to you is by him or her listening to you when you are saying things are going too fast, and respecting the boundaries.
Another thing to keep in mind is that trust is an important element in a relationship. Trust is when you can count on someone to be there for you, and for someone to not cheat on you. Without trust the relationship falls apart, because you would have no confidence in that person. It can lead to things like your partner asking where you are all the time or frequent texting which can annoy you. When a partner is annoyed he or she might not be easy to get along with, and can make to relationship miserable.
Respect and trust are important, but can’t happen without good communication. Communication is one of the keys to have in a good relationship. Without healthy communication the relationship can fall apart. How do you know the boundaries unless you speak up? How do you know you can trust someone without talking to them about where you stand? If something wrong in the relationship, you or your partner need to speak up so both of you can solve the problem together.
There are many other things that are important in a relationship such as support and keeping separate identities.
If you have questions or want more information post a comment or go to this link.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

What do I do if I have unsafe sex or contraception fails?

While doing my internship at Central Health District, I had a friend ask me what you do if you have unsafe sex or contraception fails. Then I thought that other teens might have the same question. So, I wanted to address this in my blog.
There is this thing called emergency contraception. This is for when people have unsafe sex or their contraception fails. Emergency contraception works by preventing the fertilized ovum from attaching to the lining of the uterus. Also it prevents the sperm form fertilizing the egg or prevents or delays the egg from releasing from the ovaries. The emergency contraception should be taken as soon as possible afterwards. The sooner people get it the better it works. It’s 89% effective for up to five days. If you have miss one or more birth control pills, condom tears or comes off, or IUD comes out of place, it’s recommended that people take the emergency contraception. If you use no protection, and a pregnancy is not desired people need to take the emergency contraception. People can get emergency contraception at the Central Health District on a sliding fee scale or people can get them over the counter for $30-$60, if you are 18 years of age. Emergency contraception is meant for emergencies, and not to take place of birth control pills. There are many form of birth control more effective than emergency contraception. For more information on birth control, click on the birth control tab at