Text Message Service Provides Sexual Health Information
San Francisco this week becomes the first city in the nation to provide safer sex advice to young people through cell phone text messages, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The program is directed at people ages 12 to 24 and uses text message language familiar to young people.
Users text "sexinfo" to one of two numbers set up by the San Francisco Department of Public Health and get a reply asking them to categorize their question by choosing one of several options. The process takes about one to two minutes, and most messages end with a phone number to call for more information.
The city launched the program in response to rising rates of sexually transmitted infections among San Francisco youth. The program, which is modeled after a similar program in London, will cost about $2,500 per month to operate.
Planned Parenthood Golden Gate also is considering starting a text messaging program that would allow patients to make appointments or receive reminders via cell phone text messages (Allday, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/26).