Q&A: Teens

teen friends

  1. Some of my friends do things like drink Mountain Dew after having sex to prevent HIV and STDs. Does this work?
  2. Can you tell by just looking at someone that they have an STD or HIV?
  3. What’s the difference between HIV and AIDS?
  4. Can I get tested for HIV and STDs in Rhode Island without my parents’ permission?
  5. What’s the best way to avoid getting HIV and STDs? Any tips for staying healthy?
  6. If I get tested for HIV or STDs, do they also test for drugs at the same time?
  7. How effective are condoms at preventing STDs and HIV?
  8. What are the health risks of oral sex?
  9. I have sex with my boyfriend to make him happy but I really don’t want to do it. What should I do?
  10. What are the health risks of anal sex? Can it cause stomach problems?
  11. What do STDs look like?
  12. How often should teens get tested for HIV and STDs?
  13. When I get my check-up, what type of questions will my doctor ask me about sex? What are the tests like for HIV and STDs?
  14. If I tell my doctor that I am having sex, will my doctor tell my parents or anyone else?
  15. Can you get HIV or an STD by just lying in bed naked with another person and rubbing our bodies together?

Unfortunately, drinking Mountain Dew does not prevent HIV or STDs.

While we’re at it, below are some other myths that The Project wants to set straight:

1. Putting wax on the tip of the penis before sex will not prevent HIV and STD transmission.

2. Having a girl stand up after sex will not prevent HIV or STDs.

3. During sex a guy can not control how much pre-cum is released from his penis.

4.  Showering, douching, or urinating after sex will not prevent HIV and STDs in men or women.

5.  Olive oil should never be used as a lubricant with condoms.

6.  Any insertion of the penis (even if it’s just the head of the penis) into the vagina or anus can result in the transmission of HIV and STDs.

7.  Wearing two condoms for “double protection” should not be done.  Wearing one condom is recommended.

No. Many STDs and HIV have no symptoms. People with STDs and HIV can look completely healthy. Any sexually active person, including you, can have an STD or HIV and not know it. That’s why it is important to get tested regularly and talk with your sexual partners about being healthy before having sex.

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus that can infect people. There are many viruses that cause people to become sick (“flu”, the common cold, mono). HIV is different in that it kills your immune cells. When your immune cells become too low, you develop what is known as acquired immunodeficiency syndromes (AIDS). This means your immune system no longer works and you are more likely to get other infections (that normal healthy people don’t get) that can make you very sick.

Yes. Rhode Island has laws that allow adolescents to get tested for HIV and STDs without permission from a parent or guardian. Your parents will not be notified that you have been tested or the results of the test by your doctor.

However, if you are getting tested and use health insurance to pay for it that is under your parent’s name, the insurance company may send a notice to your home describing the tests and procedures that were done. When getting tested using health insurance, be sure to talk to your provider about any concerns you may have about privacy and confidentiality.

The best way to avoid HIV and STDs is not to have sex or engage in drug use with needles. If you choose to have sex, always use a condom for oral, vaginal and anal sex. If you choose to use drugs, never share needles.

No. As part of their licensure and certification, providers and laboratories that do HIV and STD testing are required to follow certain protocols. They only do testing on diseases that they discuss with you.

Condoms have been proven to be very effective at preventing HIV and most STDs. The important thing is to use them the right way. Check out this fact sheet to learn more: condom fact sheet.

People can get STDs by giving and getting oral sex. Although there is a low rate of HIV transmission through oral sex, other STDs like gonorrhea and syphilis can be transmitted this way. If you perform a lot of oral sex (penis in your mouth), you may want to ask your doctor to do a throat swab for gonorrhea and chlamydia.

No one should be forced to have sex. You need to talk to a trusted adult – your parent, a relative, your doctor, or a teacher or guidance counselor at school about this.

Another option is to contact a counselor at Sojourner House – they have trained staff that help individuals who are being forced to have sex or are in abusive relationships.

Having anal sex can cause many health problems, especially if a condom is not used. Anal sex can result in the transmission of HIV and STDs, and is linked to some cancers. If you do have anal sex, you may want to discuss with your doctor whether an anal pap smear to look for cancer is appropriate for you.

Anal sex is not associated with stomach pains or vomiting.

Most sexually active teens should get tested at least annually for HIV and STDs.  It may be more often if you are a guy who has sex with other guys.

During most check-ups, doctors will ask you if you are sexually active and if you say “yes,” your doctor will ask you if you have sex with men and/or women, if you practice safe sex, and how many partners you have.

Depending on your responses, your doctor may do a physical exam and do some tests that may include drawing blood, swabbing a part of your body, or asking for a urine sample.

If your doctor does not ask you, you should mention to him/her that you are sexually active. It is important to be honest and up-front to receive the right care for you and prevent HIV and other STDs.

No. Your relationship with your doctor is confidential and the information you share with him/her should remain private.

The only exception is if you indicate that you plan to harm yourself or someone else or if you are being abused – in this case your doctor or nurse is obligated to get you the care you need.

You can not get HIV by rubbing your bodies together.   Also important to know is that you can not get HIV from toilet seats, kissing, or holding hands.  However,  by rubbing your bodies together you can get some STDs like crabs, scabies and herpes by skin-to-skin contact.