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Sexual development awareness

This is the kind of message we hope youth can hear:

"The importance sexuality has in your life will change at different times, and you may not always be sexually active or want to be.Like any other subject, sex education should be accurate, enable you to make informed choices and give answers and solutions to your own concerns.Whatever your starting point, your experience is an individual one, and you are already on this journey. It is, however, often an experience of life ordeath."

(For reading source, click here .)

Unprotected sex

Having unprotected sex (anal, oral or vaginal) and/or sharing unclean needles such as intravenous drug syringes (the works) andneedles used for tattooing and body piercing with a person who is HIV positive or unaware of his/her HIV status are all actions that put you atrisk.

The use of drugs and/or alcohol can make it harder for you to practice safer sex and to set limits for yourself.

In 8 out of 10 cases, HIV is transmitted during sex between a man and a woman or between two men.

The virus is passed on when infected blood, semen, or vaginal fluids from one partner enters the body of the other partner throughthe very thin skin of their sex organs, mouth or anus, or through sores or cuts on their mouth, hands or body.

Dry sex increases the risk of HIV transmission because friction can cause sores in the vaginal wall.

Girls and virginity

A virgin is someone who has not had sexual intercourse. Women have a membrane called a hymen surrounding the vaginal opening. Thehymen can be stretched and/or torn by exercise, sports or the use of tampons. The presence of the hymen is not a sign of virginity. Some people believe thatthe hymen is the only proof of virginity. This belief can cause a lot of unhappiness and anxiety to a woman who has no hymen, but is a virgin.

Having penetrative sex for the first time can be scary. The need for gentleness and understanding is very important. The hymen isnot a wall that needs to be battered down. The first act of sexual intercourse will not necessarily cause bleeding. The first time can be painful or sorewhether you are a male or female. And you can become pregnant the first time you have sex. Do not have sex if you don't want to.

Menstruation

Girls are born with thousands of potential or immature eggs in each of their 2 ovaries. After puberty, one mature egg is releasedevery month. This is called ovulation and happens around 14 days before a 'period' is due. If the egg is not fertilized by sperm, it will die and pass outof the body through the vagina as a period, along with the lining of the womb. The egg can't be seen as it's much too small. The menstrual cycle varies from21 days to 40 days. Not all women have regular periods.

Changes in hormone levels before or during your cycle can affect your mood. You may feel energetic and sexy around ovulationand/or moody, tearful and angry just before your period is due. Your breasts may become sore or a bit larger and you may get spots on your face. Womenrelease eggs until they reach menopause. Menopause occurs when women are in their late 40s and 50s and menstruation stops and they cannot becomepregnant.

Questions & Answers

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Source:  OpenStax, Hiv-aids for educators. OpenStax CNX. Mar 07, 2006 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10329/1.6
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