Rates of HIV and STDs among teenagers have gotten worse within recent years in Philadelphia. Condom use among teens also has declined. A Philadelphia nonprofit is designing a new tool to help change those trends.
Access Matters is launching a sex education app this fall. The It Matters app will provide teens and young adults with information about sexual reproductive health and sexually transmitted diseases.
Brian Green, director of programs and development, said the organization designed the app after listening to the volunteers from the teen pregnancy program called I Matter. It's a matter of meeting youth where they are — on their phones, Green said.
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"For youth to get more specific information, have questions answered, as well as finding health center locations. Finding actual locations where they could go and receive clinical services," Green said.
The It Matters app will disseminate thoroughly researched information for women and men; it will be inclusive for LGBTQ health concerns as well. It also aims to be a resource for parents, helping them talk with their kids about sex and health issues related to sex.
Access Matters has health resource centers located in 13 high schools in Philadelphia and Chester where teens receive confidential counseling, education, condoms, and health referrals to a community based provider.
Access Matters have provided more than 8,000 counseling sessions to students in the Philadelphia region. The initial It Matters app will be available in the fall.