ROUNDUP: Sites Offer Information on Youth Vaccines, Sexual Health
Four science-based Web sites yesterday announced the launch of a new web ring, called the Allied Vaccine Group. According to a press release, the ring was created to ease access to reliable, science-based information about vaccines and immunizations. In addition to the "latest vaccine news," the ring contains specialized data, including information for adults, teens, parents, medical care providers and researchers. Created as a response to a "recent proliferation of [W]eb sites disseminating rumors and speculation" without scientific backing, the group includes: the Bill and Melinda Gates Children's Vaccine Program at PATH, the Seoul, Korea-based International Vaccine Institute, the National Network for Immunization Information and the Vaccine Page. The Allied Vaccine Group members all "believe that immunization saves the lives of millions of children and adults" annually. Moreover, the group believes that "if the scientific evidence shows any vaccine to be dangerous, the public should be alerted to that danger" (Bill and Melinda Gates Children's Vaccine Program release, 2/23).
Virtual Sex Ed
Teenagers -- and those who care for them -- have at their fingertips a variety of Internet sites to help them with reproductive questions, according to the February issue of Contraceptive Technology Update. Those sites include:
- National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (www.teenpregnancy.org) -- offers free fact sheets for every state; tips for parents, teens and faith communities; and "Teen In-Site," a special section for teens.
- Advocates for Youth (www.advocatesforyouth.org) -- a group that promotes the health of adolescents worldwide and focuses on the prevention of unintended pregnancy and STDs. The site provides fact sheets that cover "essential statistics, emerging trends and resources."
- American Social Health Association's "I Wanna Know" (www.iwannaknow.org) -- a teen health site that provides access to "dynamic and reliable sexual health information" for teens and parents. A unique feature of the site is the "South Treybourne Diaries," a soap opera that chronicles fictional characters dealing with sensitive issues.
- Planned Parenthood Federation of America's "Teenwire" (www.teenwire.com) -- offers a "private place" for teens on the Internet where they can find news and statistics about "teen sexuality, sexual health and relationships."
- American Medical Association's "Adolescent Health On-Line" (www.ama-assn.org/adolhlth/adolhlth.htm) -- a site designed largely for providers.
- Kaiser Family Foundation and Children Now's "Talking With Kids" (www.talkingwithkids.org) -- part of the national initiative by Oakland, Calif.-based Children Now and the Kaiser Family Foundation of Menlo Park, Calif., which encourages parents to talk with their children "earlier and more often" about sex, HIV/AIDS, violence, and alcohol and drug abuse. Information is available in both English and Spanish (Contraceptive Technology Update, 2/00 issue).