Resources for Parents

Philadelphia has some of the highest rates of STDs in the country, and teenagers are affected the most. 1 out of 3 kids in Philadelphia will get an STD during their teen years.

Talk to your kids about safer sex. Your kids want to hear from you.

Tips for Talking

Parents can have a big impact on their teenagers when it comes to healthy choices about sex.

Talking to your teenager about sex can be difficult and uncomfortable, but he or she needs to hear from you.

Here are some tips:

  • Relax and take a deep breath. This is hard work for you and your child. Don't get angry - don't give up. You may save your child's life by helping him or her prevent a serious disease.
  • Start early. Don't wait for your teenager to ask questions. You should start the conversation. Your kids are looking to you for good information.
  • Find teaching moments. Use things that come up every day to talk about waiting to have sex, or using condoms if your teen is already having sex. For example, if a TV program shows a sex scene or your teen tells you about something that came up at school about sex, you can use these moments to talk about safer sex.
  • Be honest and give good information. Teenagers need the facts so that they can make good decisions. Use this website for good information on safer sex, condoms, and STDs, including HIV.
  • Make this conversation normal. The more you talk to your teen about safer sex, the easier it becomes for your teen to talk openly with you about sex.
  • Tell them waiting is best. Let them know that waiting to have sex is best. The longer teenagers wait to have sex, the less likely it is that they will get an STD. If they choose to have sex, teach them that safer sex is important.

Video examples of how to talk to your teens

What To Say

Talk to your teenager about waiting to have sex. If they choose to have sex, talk to your teenager about safer sex.

Safer sex means using a condom correctly every time a person has sex. The best way to prevent STDs and HIV is to not have sex at all. If your teen chooses to have sex, using a condom correctly every time prevents STDs, including HIV.

Here are some ideas on how to keep your teenager safe from STDs and HIV.

  • Tell them to wait. Waiting to have sex is an important thing to talk to your teenager about. The only sure way to prevent STDs and HIV is to not have sex. Teenagers who start having sex at a younger age are more likely to get infected with STDs and HIV.
  • Help them say no. Teens may only hear about why they should have sex from their friends or partners. You can tell them why to wait and how to say no. If peers are pressuring your child to have sex, he/she may need to say something like "my mother/father will be really angry if I start having sex/get a disease." Sit down with your teen and pretend you are a partner and act out the conversation that your teen will have. Help them know what lines to use to say no.
  • Tell them to use a condom. Even if your teen isn't having sex, talk to your teenager about using a condom correctly every time. Condoms are the only form of birth control that prevent STDs, including HIV. Even teens who wait should know about condoms and know where to get them. Teens who are having sex need to have a condom with them at all times.
  • Tell them where to get condoms. You can give your teenager condoms, keep condoms in the house, or you can teach them about the different places where they can get condoms. There are FREE condom sites listed on our Condom Map that are open to everyone. Teens can also get FREE condoms mailed to them!
  • Be a helper. Your teen may only come to you if s/he knows it's okay to talk with you. Let them know it is okay to ask questions. If he/she gets an STD, you want to be sure it gets treated. If she gets pregnant, you want to be sure she gets the care and help she needs.

STDs and Condoms

There are many STDs, including HIV. Know the facts, and be ready to talk to your teenager.

The most common STDs in teenagers are Chlamydia and gonorrhea. Syphilis and HIV are also important to know about because teenagers in Philadelphia are at risk for getting these too.


Philly Teen Stats


Everyone should know what condoms are, where to get them, and how to use them.

Watch the videos below about how to use a condom. Go to our Condom Map or Mail Me Condoms! to find out how your teen can get FREE condoms.



Online Resources for Parents

National Campaign to Prevent Unplanned and Teen Pregnancy

Planned Parenthood - How to Talk to Your Kids About Sex

Children Now - Talking with Your Kids

Philadelphia Services

Bebashi's Heart to Heart Program

  • (215) 769-3561 // 1217 Spring Garden Street, 1st Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19123
  • For African-American women over 18 years old, services include free HIV testing and risk reduction counseling and psychosocial services.

Drexel University Women's Care Center

  • (215) 762-7824 // 1427 Vine Street, 7th Floor, Philadelphia, PA 19102
  • Outpatient medical office that provides comprehensive gynecologic, obstetric, and reproductive health care (family planning) services for women.

Helen Dickens Center for Women's Health

  • (800) 789-PENN // 1 West Gates, 3400 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
  • Providing personalized care for women of all ages, from family planning and prenatal care to menopause and gynecologic care.

Planned Parenthood

  • Castor Ave. Health Center: (215) 745-5966 // 8210 Castor Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19152
  • Elizabeth Blackwell Center: (215) 496-9696 // 1211 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
  • Locust St. Health Center: (215) 351-5560 // 1144 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107
  • Providing pregnancy testing and options referrals, birth control services, emergency contraception, HIV testing, and men's health services.

Sexual Assault Center

  • (215) 955-6000 // 111 S. 11th St., Philadelphia, PA 19107