New York, NY — Today, Planned Parenthood Federation of America and MTV announced that its award-winning sexual health campaign, “It’s Your (Sex) Life,” will host Planned Parenthood’s online chat program on its homepage, allowing young people searching for sexual health information to have a conversation in real time with a real trained health educator who can provide accurate information on birth control, pregnancy, sexually transmitted infections, and health care.
Nearly 40 percent of teens aged 14 to 17 are using digital technologies to seek out health-related information, including information on sexual health. Both Planned Parenthood and MTV are committed to providing young people with reliable, accurate information on sexual health and to helping young people make healthy decisions. Nearly half a million people have used Planned Parenthood’s Chat/Text program since its launch in 2010.
“Today’s technology makes it possible for young people looking for help to access it in multiple ways, and Planned Parenthood is determined to provide accurate, nonjudgmental information to as many young people as possible, where they are and when they need it most,” said Leslie Kantor, Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s vice president of education. “We’re very proud of our Chat/Text program, and are thrilled to see it on the ‘It’s Your (Sex) Life’ site. Being able to have a conversation with a real person can guide people to the next appropriate step in taking care of their health.”
“MTV has a long-standing history of educating and informing young people about sexual health issues through our programming and public affairs campaigns,” said Ronnie Cho, vice president of public affairs for MTV. “Planned Parenthood has been a tremendous and best-in-class partner with the ‘It’s Your (Sex) Life’ campaign. We are excited to take another step with them today to provide a much-needed personal platform for the audience to ask and receive answers to a large variety of questions and concerns they may have.”
To learn more about sexual health, access resources, and chat with a Planned Parenthood professional in real time, visititsyoursexlife.com or plannedparenthood.org. The program’s chat conversations show young people getting accurate and nonjudgmental information in response to their questions:
- A 21-year-old Latina asking about STD testing signed off her chat with the Planned Parenthood health educator by saying, “Thank you so much. I'm still terrified but I'm going to go [get tested].”
- A 16-year-old in the Midwest got information about pregnancy and accessing health care and wrote, “Thank you so much! You really cleared up the cloud for me.”
- A 19-year-old who was looking for information on pregnancy and birth control signed off by saying,“oh my goodness, its very comforting to hear that. Thank you so much for helping me, you guys are really changing people's lives, because u have really helped mine. thank you, God bless.”
Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s innovative Chat/Text program was launched in September 2010 and allows young people to correspond with trained staff with urgent questions about their sexual and reproductive health, including birth control, emergency contraception, pregnancy testing, or STDs using text messaging or instant messaging. A study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research in 2013 showed that, in its first year, the program was able to reach 32,589 young people with critical information about sex and health in moments of intense worry when they were in need of fast, confidential help. The program reached substantial numbers of African-American and Latino youth and was successful in reducing worry, particularly among teens aged 17 and younger and Latino users. To date, the program has reached more than 433,000 people. The program is currently undergoing a rigorous evaluation to further assess its impact on users.
As the nation’s leading provider of reproductive health care and sex education, Planned Parenthood works every day to get young people the information they need to make healthy decisions. Each year, Planned Parenthood provides comprehensive sex education and outreach to 1.5 million people and 2.7 million patients come to Planned Parenthood health centers. Planned Parenthood websites, including Planned Parenthood en Español, receive an estimated 60 million visits each year.
Background on Planned Parenthood’s Chat/Text program:
- Nearly 40 percent of all teens aged 14 to 17 are using digital technologies to seek out health-related information, including information on sexual health.
- Planned Parenthood’s Chat/Text program is currently offered 91 hours per week (Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m. – 12 a.m. ET,Friday: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET, Saturday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. ET, Sunday: 2 p.m. – 12 a.m. ET).
- Since its start in 2010, Planned Parenthood’s Chat/Text program has reached more than 433,000 people; 34% of users aged 15-24 are African American and/or Latino.
About It’s Your (Sex) Life:
It's Your (Sex) Life (IYSL) is MTV's Emmy and Peabody Award-winning public information campaign to support young people in making responsible decisions about their sexual health. The campaign focuses on reducing unintended pregnancy, preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS, and open communication with partners and health care providers. IYSL was launched in 1997 with the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The cross-platform IYSL campaign includes targeted public service ads (PSAs), entertainment and other special programming and promotions, news segments, talent engagement, sweepstakes, community partnerships, free informational materials, and extensive social media/web/mobile resources. IYSL has been credited with helping to significantly decrease teen pregnancies and increase STD testing in the U.S. in recent years; the campaign has reached over 200 million young people on sexual health issues since its inception.
Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
Planned Parenthood Federation of America media office: 212-261-4433
March 16, 2015