Information helps protect teens
During April, teens, parents and health-care professionals are recognizing National STD Awareness Month. One in two sexually active people — 50 percent — will contract a sexually transmitted disease by age 25, but most don't know it. Chlamydia rates in this region have climbed: Between 2005 and 2009, chlamydia cases increased 65 percent in Westchester County, 29 percent in Rockland County and 34 percent in Putnam County. Sharing resources about access to STD testing and treatment is as important as ever.
As a Teen Information Peer Services educator for Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic, I can assure my peers that they are receiving accurate information whenever they come to me with questions or concerns. It's empowering to know that my peers can count on me for information about reproductive health issues, including how to prevent STDs or how to access emergency contraception, as well as the importance and availability of STD testing for women, men and teens.
I'm glad that Planned Parenthood's lifesaving health-care services are available to Rockland residents so that my peers and I can lead healthy lives.
The writer is a junior at Nyack High School.
April 30, 2011