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This month we focus on National Women and Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Of course, any day is a good day to teach girls about staying healthy. Consider these facts: Nearly half of U.S. high-schoolers have had sex (and 7 percent had sex before they were 13). More than half of HIV-infected teens don’t know that they are infected. And two percent of high-schoolers have injected illegal drugs at least once.
Here are some key points to tell teens:
- The only sure way to avoid HIV/AIDS, other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and pregnancy is to not have sex.
- Using a male latex condom correctly and every time can reduce the risk of HIV/AIDS, other STIs, and pregnancy. Research suggests that female condoms can be effective, too.
- Drinking or using drugs increases the chances of having unprotected sex.
- Never share needles. And if you’re getting a tattoo or piercing, make sure the needles are sterile.
Of course, it can be hard to talk about topics like sex. But the girlshealth.gov Parents and Caregivers section can help by giving tips for talking about sex, relationships, and more. You owe it to the girls you care about. Share your thoughts!
Find an HIV testing center near you.
Girls who have had sex should get tested for HIV. Early detection can mean better treatment. Use the tool below to find an HIV testing center (or other HIV-related health services) in your area.
Enter your location, such as: "Washington, DC", or "20002".
For more information on this widget, please visit AIDS.gov.
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Content last reviewed March 01, 2011
Page last updated October 31, 2013