Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Sexual text messages for teens?

San Francisco just launched the nation's first text-messaging program aimed to shoot instant cellphone messages to sexually active young people seeking advice about sex and health. The service focuses on everything from what to do "if ur condom broke" to whom to call "if ur feeling down ... like u wanna xcape ur life."

Written in the abbreviated style of text messaging, SexInfo is open to anyone with cellphone text messaging. But it is aimed at sexually active 12- to 24-year-olds in San Francisco, especially blacks, whose rates of sexually transmitted diseases have increased in the past year, says Jacqueline McCright of the San Francisco Department of Public Health.

Kids, McCright says, "often do not get accurate information from their friends, and many times their parents don't discuss sexual issues with them. This is a way that they can get quick, easy information confidentially."

The service, based on a London program that launched in 2004, provides instant, automated responses to specific questions about pregnancy, HIV, sex and depression. Kids send a text message to 36617 (Metro PCS users use a different number) with the word "SexInfo." They are then sent a list of codes from which to choose.

Click here to read the full article.


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