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Teen Awareness (Safer Sex)

Jerlena Rhodes asked to have this reprinted from her school's newsletter.

Your life depends on practicing only safer sex and abstinence. HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is spreading quickly. People die from AIDS. Most people get HIV either from having sex or sharing needles.

The first step to safer sex is talking about it. Many individuals are worried about how their partner will react when bringing up the topic. Usually both men and women feel embarrassed about buying condoms. The embarrassment and difficulty are real. But, you must not let them stop you. You must protect yourself and your life.

Learn as much as you can about HIV., safer sex and abstinence. The more you know the easier it will be to talk about it. It's important to keep communicating about this important topic. Be clear in your own mind. Give your partner time to think about what you said. Pay attention to your partner's response. If your partner resists safer sex or abstinence, then maybe you need to think more carefully about the relationship.

1) Don't allow any of your partner's body fluids to enter your body. HIV is passed in certain body fluids. These include semen, blood, menstrual blood, or vaginal secretions.

2) Always use a latex condom with a water based lubricant for vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Both men and women should insist on using them.

3) Don't use oil- based lubricants. Hand creams, massage oils, and Vaseline can cause the condom to leak or break.

4) Don't have sex when you're drunk or high. Drinking alcohol or using other drugs makes it harder to use safer sex guidelines.

No person, no act of sex matter how spontaneous, beautiful or wonderful - is worth taking the risk of getting HIV.

Health update: Picking or squeezing pimples can force the condition inward, possibly leaving the skin scarred. It is important to wash your face with soap and water at least twice a day.

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