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80 years of 'the talk' 

“Does the Pill protect against STDs?”

“Can I get pregnant while I’m on my period?”

“Can you get HIV from kissing?”

“Why does it hurt when I pee?”


In the 80 years Planned Parenthood South Texas has been answering questions, we’ve heard it all.

Education in the early years

Early on, Planned Parenthood offered young brides-to-be classes called “Education for Marriage,” taught by clinic staff and local clergy.

Later, Planned Parenthood staff and volunteers visited schools, churches, civic clubs, and other venues to educate the community about safer sex. In the 1980s, the Texas Department of Health and Human Services contracted with Planned Parenthood in San Antonio to develop the Texas Teens Project, which encouraged kids ages 11-14 to postpone sexual involvement.

When the AIDS epidemic hit, we aggressively combatted the spread of HIV by providing medically-accurate sex education. Our Minority AIDS Education program targeted at-risk minority populations in San Antonio, providing counseling in AIDS prevention and high-risk behavior.

Peer counseling was another way Planned Parenthood reached the community in the 1980s and beyond. In the 2000s, the get SMART℠ (SexWise, Maturity, Awareness, Responsibility, Teens) program trained peer educators to teach other area youth about sexual health and responsibility. The program provided teens with the scientifically accurate information they needed to make informed decisions about sex, with the goal of reducing teen pregnancy and STD rates.

Community Education today

In 1999, we launched Habla Con Tu Hermana℠ (Talk to Your Sister), a community education program in San Antonio. The program informed thousands of women about sexual and reproductive health until the state’s funding cuts forced us to pause the program in 2012.

In 2015, we relaunched Habla Con Tu Hermana in the Rio Grande Valley with the help of an anonymous donor. Three promotoras—bilingual, state-certified community health workers—travel around Cameron County to educate women about topics such as breast health, birth control, cervical health, STDs, and talking to kids about sexual health and responsibility. Promotoras also hold Clinica Festival health fairs outside our health centers in Brownsville and Harlingen.

 

Meet Roo! 

Thanks to the technology our founders could never have predicted, teens who can’t visit one of our clinics can learn about sex, their bodies, healthy relationships, and sexual responsibility from our website. Earlier this year, Planned Parenthood launched Roo, a sexual health chatbot that allows teens to ask questions about sex—from puberty to STDs to pregnancy to masturbation—in a judgment-free, anonymous setting. Roo can also connect users to live educators via Planned Parenthood's chat/text program.

For so many, Planned Parenthood is the only place young people can get accurate information about sex, especially in states like Texas where abstinence-only education is the norm in public schools. In many cases, we are correcting the misinformation that patients are given by other sources; for example, the State of Texas requires abortion patients to receive medically accurate information about the risks of abortion.

And to answer the questions previously posed:

No, oral contraceptives do not protect against STDs.

Yes, you can get pregnant while menstruating.

No, HIV is not spread through kissing.

Painful urination can be caused by an STD, urinary tract infection or other medical issues— come into Planned Parenthood for care!

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