Get your sexual health information via text message
Planned Parenthood launched a new campaign this week that aims to disperse sexual health information to teenagers in a format that is quite popular with the demographic – text messages. The program, called In Case You're Curious (ICYC), allows teens to text questions to a specific phone number, and later receive a response from a Planned Parenthood staff member, according to The Denver Post.
"We always encourage youth to have conversations with their parents, but we also recognize that not everyone has that ability," Alison Macklin, director of community education for a Colorado Planned Parenthood branch, told the news source. "We're not trying to take the place of those conversations, or providing firsthand knowledge, but rather we're providing a way to help answer questions."
ICYC was originally part of the Denver Teen Pregnancy Prevention Partnership, which was launched in public schools in Denver in 2007. In 2010, Planned Parenthood took over the program, and since then, teens have submitted around 500 messages. The organization hopes to double that figure in the coming year.
Teens can ask questions up to 160 characters, the typical length of one text message, and expect a response to their query within 24 hours. Macklin says the program will help teens get essential information about sex from reliable sources in a format they understand.
Teen sex education is important to maintain the health of young, sexually active individuals. Planned Parenthood has been promoting community healthcare for over 90 years.