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Virginia: Nothing Off-Limits in "Just for Teens" Sessions

December 15, 2010

Chesapeake gynecologist Zenette Leao recently initiated "Just for Teens," monthly hour-long sessions open only to girls ages 11-19.

"Unfortunately, I see a lot of teenagers who have already had issues before they come in to the gynecologist," Leao said. "Mostly [the sessions are] for awareness and trying to get information out there."

"I have a lot of patients who get erroneous information from the Internet, and sometimes they're looking at sites, they're listening to friends. Even some family members are not giving factual information," noted Leao.

The program features a Q&A and slide show on Leao's selected topic. Leao asks that parents drop their teen off and return after the session's end. All conversations inside are confidential. If a girl does not feel comfortable asking a question aloud, she can submit it on an index card.

Recently the discussion was about viral STDs, specifically human papillomavirus. "Condoms do not provide full protection," Leao told the audience.

Leao also answers questions via e-mail on the program's blog, But she has found that most girls are comfortable asking anything. "I think it's helpful I'm a physician; it's only the teenage girls here; I'm not going to report back to their parents," she said.

"I like how you can be really open and ask any question. It's so much fun even though it's serious stuff," one participant said. "I've only missed one since the first one."

Back to other news for December 2010

Adapted from:
Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk)
12.12.2010; Vicki L. Friedman

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.
See Also
Quiz: Are You at Risk for HIV?
10 Common Fears About HIV Transmission
More Activities, Lesson Plans and Other Resources to Prevent HIV in Young People

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