Oftentimes, when we think about back-to-school campaigns, what first comes to mind are the countless promotions on things like school supplies, clothing, backpacks, and laptops. All the essentials you need to start the year off on the right foot.
Rarer are the promotions around health, let alone, gasp, sexual health. But the facts are in. Young people are having sex. By 12th grade, more than 59 percent of high school seniors in Arizona report having sexual intercourse.
Meanwhile, comprehensive sexuality education isn’t a state-mandated requirement for Arizona’s schools, and Arizona teens are more likely to become pregnant than most teens across the United States. Given this information, it isn’t entirely surprising that more than three-quarters of teens, ages 15 to 17, say they need more information about birth control, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections.
This year, do more than find the best bargains on backpacks or laptops to prepare your teen for school. Take some time to share information and resources with your teen about sexual health and healthy relationships so they can be ready for what the school year might bring.
And you don’t have to go it alone! Planned Parenthood Arizona is here to help by offering a back to school promotion of its own as part of the Be Healthy, Be Safe, Be You! campaign.
Teens, along with their parents, can visit their local Planned Parenthood health center to meet with expert health care providers and get more information about sexual health as well as learn about different birth control options in order to find a method that’s right for them. The best part? Planned Parenthood Arizona is offering a $50 savings — waiving the price of the visit to 300 teens — when they purchase their first three packs of pills or Depo shot.
Call to make an appointment — 602-277-PLAN (7526) in the Phoenix area, 520-408-PLAN (7526) in the Tucson area, or toll-free 855-207-PLAN (7526) from elsewhere in Arizona.
At the end of the day, no matter what time of year it is, each and every parent should consider the importance of proactive, ongoing, open communication around sexual health with their teen. It’s simple; the best thing we as a community can do for teens is provide them with the tools and resources to become responsible and confident adults.
Want to learn more about the campaign, get the details on the special August promotion, and find tip sheets for starting the conversation with your teen (or your parent)? Find it all here at www.ppaz.org.