Teens on the Web: Take a look at these 6 sites

(Editor’s note: Beginning in this month’s issue, Contraceptive Technology Update is highlighting Web sites and listservs that will be helpful to you and/or your patients. If you’d like to submit a Web site or listserv you think would interest your peers, please use the form enclosed in this issue.)

Does your practice include an abundance of adolescent patients? Here are some Internet Web sites that offer good information for teens or for those who care for them:

1. National Campaign to Prevent Teen Preg nancy. Address: www.teenpregnancy.org.

The Washington, DC-based National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, founded in February 1996, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan initiative organized around one major goal: to reduce the U.S. teen pregnancy rate by one-third between 1996 and 2005.

The Web site offers free, easy-to-download fact sheets for every state, four territories, and the District of Columbia that include comprehensive teen pregnancy and birth statistics, race/ethnicity and age breakdowns, state rankings and comparisons to national statistics, and rates of teen sexual activity and contraceptive use. It also includes Spanish-language translations of the campaign’s tips for parents, teens, and faith communities and a fact sheet on teen pregnancy and childbearing among Hispanics in the United States. A special section designed for teens, "Teen In-Site," covers adolescent issues with a weekly teen survey.

2. Advocates for Youth. Address: www. advocatesforyouth.org.

Advocates for Youth, also based in Washing ton, DC, promotes the health of adolescents worldwide with a focus on the prevention of unintended teenage pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), including HIV/AIDS, through access to health services and information. The organization’s popular fact sheet series is now available on the Web. These one-page fact sheets cover essential statistics, emerging trends, and resources in a concise and easy-to-use format. Topics include adolescent contraceptive use, adolescent pregnancy and childbirth, adolescent HIV/AIDS and STDs, and other issues. Programs that use peer educators may want to check out the Peer Education Webring, which links peer education Web sites from around the globe.

3. American Social Health Association’s "I Wanna Know." Address: www.iwannaknow.org.

This teen health and awareness Web site has been created by the Research Triangle Park, NC-based nonprofit organization in response to the worsening STD statistics among U.S. adolescents. It is aimed at providing fingertip access to dynamic and reliable sexual health information for teens and offers a parents’ guide to help adults discuss sensitive matters with teens. A unique feature is "South Treybourne Diaries," the daily chronicles of several fictional charac -ters who deal with real-life issues in a soap opera format.

4. Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s "Teenwire." Address: www.teenwire.com.

This teen health and awareness Web site, created by the New York City-based reproductive health organization, offers teens a private place on the Internet where they can get information and news about teen sexuality, sexual health, and relationships. Check out "Hothouse," an electronic "e-zine" written by teens for teens, and "Yikes!" a page set up to help answer such questions as "Have I got a sexually transmitted infection?"

5. American Medical Association’s "Adolescent Health On-Line." Address: www.ama-assn.org/ adolhlth/adolhlth.htm.

The Chicago-based American Medical Associa tion’s (AMA) Program on Child and Adolescent Health sponsors this Web site for providers, with resources for information on adolescent health issues and the AMA’s Guidelines for Adolescent Preventive Services program. Providers can order such resources as "The Parent Package," which includes 15 reproducible tip sheets to help primary care providers share important information about adolescence with parents.

6. Kaiser Family Foundation and Children Now’s "Talking With Kids." Address: www. talkingwithkids.org.

This Web site is part of a national initiative by Oakland, CA-based Children Now and the Kaiser Family Foundation of Menlo Park, CA, to encourage parents to talk with their children earlier and more often about difficult issues such as sex, HIV/ AIDS, violence, alcohol, and drug abuse. Informa tion is available in English and Spanish.