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A new way to teach teens about sexual health

One nonprofit hopes to start a conversation about healthy relationships.

Members of Teen P.A.C.T are trained to be health educators.

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Like many high school girls, Tiffani Grey and her friends often talk about dating and relationships. But Grey, a senior at Brooklyn Preparatory High School, says she is often struck by the misinformation out there.

“[My friends] probably ask about birth control the most,” Grey says. “They want to know if there are side effects and also if they can get access to it.”

Fortunately for these teens, Grey has many of the answers they need. Grey is currently a Peer Educator at Teens P.A.C.T. (Positive Action and Choices for Teens) — a nonprofit program run by the Community Healthcare Network that teaches teens about safe sex.

The organization just released a series of public service announcements written and produced by its students. “Our goal was to create something using these voices,” says Michelle Perlman, Teens P.A.C.T.’s director. The PSAs are currently being distributed to teen websites.

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Perlman notes that some of the videos may make adults uncomfortable. “They would pick a topic like lack of condom use,” Perlman says. “So they would talk about how many teens say that condoms don’t feel good and craft these scripts.” Ultimately though, sexual safety is the goal. “Young people are out there engaging in risky behavior,” Perlman says. “We want them to engage in behavior that allows them to be safe and healthy.”

Follow Lakshmi Gandhi on Twitter @LakshmiGandhi.

 
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