Answer: The Coalition is a group of concerned youth, parents and professionals working to coordinate and expand resources for youth and their parents to support family conversations and youth decision-making about sexuality. Our message is that sex has serious consequences for the teen mother, teen father, baby, and community and that we all have a role to play in encouraging youth to make healthy choices to avoid unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
Question: Is there somewhere I can go in Washington County to find books and other resources to help me as a teenager make healthy decisions about my sexuality?
Answer: The Coalition has free teen resources about birth control and sexually transmitted infections and about how to start a conversation with your parents about sex, values and healthy relationships. Additionally, the Washington County Free Library is a valuable resource for youth concerning this topic. Also, if you decide to go to any of the three free and confidential clinical resources mentioned on the Teen Resources page they will have written information and clinical professionals available to answer any questions you may have.
Question: Is there somewhere I can I go in Washington County to find books and other resources to help me as a parent in starting a conversation with my teenager about sex and healthy relationships?
Answer: The Coalition has a free parent toolkit. Additionally, the Washington County Free Library is a valuable resource for parents and youth concerning this topic. You can also ask your family physician for information and guidance about this life long conversation with your child.
Answer: No. The Coalition does not provide any clinical services. Free and confidential clinical services are offered to teens by the Community Free Clinic, Tri-State Community Health Center and the Washington County Health Department. Contact information for these three providers is provided on the Teen Resources page.
Question: When should my daughter have her first pap smear and does this test screen for sexually transmitted infections?
Answer: The first pap smear should be performed by age 21 or within 3 years of becoming sexually active, whichever comes first. While the pap smear will screen for the presence of 1 sexually transmitted infection called HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), she should also be tested regularly for 2 other infections called Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.
Question: Where can I take my daughter to learn more about the vaccines that prevent cervical cancer?
Answer: The vaccine most commonly used to prevent cervical cancer is called Gardasil and is currently offered by many family doctors, pediatricians and gynecologists. Call your doctor and ask if they offer Gardasil.
Question: If I want to volunteer to help the Coalition achieve it’s mission of reducing teen pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections by encouraging youth to make healthy choices what can I do and who do I contact?
Answer: The Coalition depends on youth and adult volunteers to support its activities through money and time and to guide all of our initiatives. The Coalition has various workgroups that community volunteers are participating on. Some of the workgroups are the Teen Advisory Group (TAG), parent toolkits, faith-based, health-based, education-based and business-based workgroups. Contact the Coalition office and offer to be a volunteer.