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
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Lesbians, men most likely…

Lesbians, men most likely to achieve orgasm Location: U.S. Study subjects: 2,850 people Results: Whether you find it shocking or not, a new study reports that…

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.