New app offers sex health information to teens

A new app from the Department of Health offers teens access to nearby clinics, pre-screened by peers to ensure they're adolescent-friendly.
A new app from the Department of Health offers teens access to nearby clinics, pre-screened by peers to ensure they’re adolescent-friendly.

A new app from from the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene aims to provide New York City teens with information about clinics and sexual health services at the click of a button — or tap of a finger.

The app is getting surprisingly little promotion, given the backlash from the mayor’s teen pregnancy ads, when many advocates and city officials accused the administration of wasting funds and energy on a shame campaign that did not focus enough or at all on providing access to information or resources.

“The app is a great step forward and I commend the administration,” said Councilwoman Anabel Palma, one of the city officials who took issue with the ad campaign. “But I still am extremely disappointed about the ads and upset the administration won’t change the messaging of stereotyping or stigmatizing current teen parents and past teen parents as well.”

Palma praised the app as a better proactive, preventative measure, insisting that “scare tactics don’t get teens to correct their behavior, education does.”

The app seizes on the fact that in New York state, teens are not required to get parental consent before receiving sexual health resources, information, or treatment.

The app has three components: a clinic search engine; information about various forms of birth control, including emergency contraception, and a reminder that both a condom and birth control must be used to be effective; as well as a section of video testimonials from teens.

The teens in the videos describe the experience of clinic visits, as well as other experiences teens may have trouble discussing with adults, including sexual attraction and unplanned pregnancies.

Some clinics are marked with a gold star, indicating they offer some services free of charge. All of the clinics included in the app’s directory have been screened by teen “mystery shoppers,” who visited the clinics in advance to make sure they’re adolescent-friendly.

The app also assures users that all of the clinics offer confidential sexual health services, so information will not be shared with parents or significant others. No information is logged by the app when downloading or using it, either.

The app, called Teens in NYC Protection +, is available via iTunes.

More information on teen health resources and services is accessible on nyc.gov by searching “NYC teen.”

 

Follow Danielle Tcholakian on Twitter @danielleiat



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Apple says its systems not to blame for…

By Edwin Chan and Christina FarrSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - The week before a crucial launch of its new iPhone, Apple Inc said intimate photos of…

Local

Tallest residential building planned for lower Manhattan

A residential tower planned for lower Manhattan will soar 1,356 feet in the air -- just 12 feet shy of 1 World Trade Center. When…

Local

Bronx man commits suicide by decapitation

A Bronx man committed suicide Monday morning in the Hunts Point area of the Bronx by decapitating himself. According to the NYPD, the 51-year-old man…

Local

Top cops enroll in Twitter course at John…

NYPD officers are reportedly getting a lesson on the best way to use 140 characters or less. The New York Post reported Tuesday top officers…

Arts

Pop culture and prostitutes: New Toulouse-Lautrec exhibit at…

Henri Toulouse-Lautrec documented the cult of celebrity and the rise of pop entertainment in his prints, posters and lithographs — now on display at MoMA.

Arts

PHOTO: Extreme artist Eskil Ronningsbakken balances unicycle on…

Extreme artist’ Eskil Ronningsbakken balances on the edge of a cliff face at 4,600 feet – on a unicycle. The Norwegian travels across the globe, balancing over vertiginous ravines, tall…

Music

Hear two previously unreleased Adele songs

Missing some Adele in your life? Two previously unreleased songs from the singer have appeared online.

Music

Lincoln Center just made 'Lord of the Rings'…

Middle Earth already has sweeping vistas, a hero's journey and technology-revolutionizing special effects. But next April, the Lincoln Center will add another dimension to Peter Jackson's…

NFL

Antonio Allen returns to practice after concussion

Antonio Allen was cleared to practice again following his concussion two weeks ago.

Sports

Belinda Bencic leads crop of young stars serving…

Belinda Bencic, a 17-year-old Swiss Miss, beat two Top-10 players before suffering a disappointing loss Tuesday in the quarterfinals.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels take control, Tigers and…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels take control, Tigers and Giants climb

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

Parenting

In defense of making a mess during playtime

"Recipes for Play" authors Rachel Sumner and Ruth Mitchener think playtime should involve the five senses and making a mess is part of the fun.

Wellbeing

Jason Hope helps push anti-aging efforts forward

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article When it comes to age-related illness, the direction of modern medicine seems more reactive than proactive. In…

Wellbeing

Today's Doomsday preppers: a closer look at survivalist…

Reporter was commissioned to write this in-depth article. The term “Doomsday prepper” is often associated with the paranoid, anti-government stereotype of the 1990s. The truth…

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…