April 3 2012
Sexual heath can be a weird thing to talk about -- both for parents and teens. If you're a teenager, thinking of your parents being intimate is probably, well, just plain gross.
And if you're a parent, the thought of your child becoming sexually active can raise major concerns. You're watching your baby grow up, and you're worried for your child's health, both physically and emotionally. But topping the list, are they gambling with their health?
Everyone can agree that unplanned pregnancies, or worse, incurable STDs, are something everyone wants to avoid.
That's where Milwaukee's Urban Underground comes in.
Among many other issues, Urban Underground is spearheading a local movement in sexual health - No Condom No Way. It's a simple message, and Tracey Hagedorn, one of the organizers at Urban Underground, works to get the message to teens.
"STD rates are outrageous, especially among the 14 to 19 age group," Hagedorn said. "If you're going to be sexually active, the only way to reduce the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease is to correctly and consistently wear a condom every single time you have sex."
It's more than a movement, it's a pledge. And getting hundreds of thousands of condoms into the hands of young people takes dozens of teen volunteers.
Together with local teen resource center Pathfinders, Urban Underground hosts condom packaging workshops. Volunteers package condom kits to be distributed all over Milwaukee.
"One of the things we do is include a package of water based lubricant in every package, and we make sure that there's at least two different sizes and two different styles of condoms," Hagedorn said.
But in order to get the goods, teens are encouraged to sign a personal pledge - a promise to use a condom every time. And it's a message that's sinking in.
"I feel like safe sex throughout the city would make the city a much better place," one teen volunteer told me. "Use that condom, use your first instinct at using that condom, because your first time could be your last time, and your first time could be baby time."
For more on No Condom No Way, or to get tips on how to discuss the topic with your child, visit their Facebook page.