Advocates' Blog
Advocates' Blog
Condomology: The Scientific Case for Condoms
Thursday, 12 December 2013 00:00

Here's a great holiday present for the sexual health nerd in your life: The Scientific Case for Condoms

This slideshow gives the complete rundown on how condoms work, their effectiveness, and what that means for STD and pregnancy prevention. Check it out and share widely!

Unfamiliar with Condomology? You should get familiar! Whether you need info about condoms yourself or are a peer educator and/or activist looking to get the facts to a friend, Condomology is the place to start.

Condomology is a new initiative from the American Sexual Health Association aimed at ensuring that people have fact-based information in plain, understandable speak that we can all use and share. You’ll find videos, slideshows, charts and other information covering the “ins and outs” of condoms and sexual health.  

Spring 2014 Semester GACC Applications are now open!
Monday, 02 December 2013 12:05


The Great American Condom Campaign is a youth-led grassroots movement to make the U.S. a sexually healthy nation. Each year, GACC members give out 1,000,000 Trojan Brand condoms on college campuses across the United States, educate their peers about sexual health, and organize to improve the policies that affect young people's health and lives.

PLEASE APPLY HERE. Applications will close on December 31st, 2013. All successful Spring Semester 2014 SafeSite applicants will be notified by January 22nd, 2014.

The program is for college students in the United States between the ages of 18 and 29. If you are a college/university staff member who is interested in purchasing discounted condoms, please visit

Have questions? Please email Ariel Cerrud- Youth Activist Network Coordinator at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Gen X & Millennials Speak Out: HIV Across the Generations
Friday, 15 November 2013 09:46

by Antigone H. Dempsey

“You’re positive.” Those were the first words I heard when I found out I had HIV. It was 1990. I was 22 years old. The test counselor handed me two things, one was a graph that showed time from infection with HIV to progressing to AIDS, and then death. The timeline showed six months to two years. The second piece of paper was a flyer for a support group for young people living with HIV, called Bay Area Young Positives. I went to the Monday Night Drop-in group just two days later. The group, its leaders and the other young people there changed me in more ways than I can even begin to explain.

Twenty-three years later, young people continue to be vulnerable to HIV, particularly young gay and bisexual men of color and young women of color. It saddens me that we were not able to protect the next generation from this disease. In 2011, 26% of all new HIV infections were among young people ages 13 to 24 years old. A young black gay man in the U.S. has a 1-in-4 chance of being infected by the age of 25. Essentially, HIV has now touched two generations of youth, “Gen Xers” were born between the early 1960s to 1980s; “Millennials” were born between the early 1980s to the early 2000s. If I have learned anything, it is that young people are resilient and are fighters—from every generation.

You Missed a Spot: The Face of Young Men's Health in Facial Hair Activism
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 09:18

by Colin Adamo, Young Men's Initiative Coordinator

This month, if you find a few male coworkers looking a little scraggly on the chin or see some expertly coiffed mustaches during your morning commute, you're not imagining things. In the name of men's health, November has been renamed Movember or No-Shave November. In solidarity with men suffering and recovering from prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental illness, men across the country are letting their facial hair flourish from November 1st to 30th.

The two lead organizations on this front go by the same names, Movember Foundation and No Shave November. Both charities operate with the primary goal of growing awareness via burgeoning facial hair. Participants can start teams, compete with one another, or host fundraising events with the goal of providing financial support to cancer research and men's health programs, all with a particular focus on prostate and testicular cancer.

While the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services lists National Men's Health week as the middle of June, the no shaving movement in November offers individuals an interesting way to engage with activism, awareness raising, and funding campaigns to combat cancers that specifically affect men. It's one of those dream actions an organizer strives for in terms of an attainable ask with potential for serious impact.

But where do young men come into play in these efforts? How does one advocate for the importance of his health if he's still having trouble sprouting any chin stubble at all? And while getting people to think about cancer screenings with beautiful beards is a great start, how do we elevate the other various health disparities young men face?

Advocates Releases New Resource on School Sexual Health Policy
Tuesday, 12 November 2013 09:16


Wondering what role school policy can play in addressing young people’s rights and needs to sexual health information, confidential health services, and safe and supportive school environments? Want something to share at your next school health advisory council meeting or with the members of your local school board?

Written for Advocates for Youth by Danene Sorace, MPP, this resource is intended to guide educators, administrators, and advocates in assessing the sexual health policies and practices in their states, school districts, and schools. Addressing Sexual Health in Schools: Policy Considerations brings together years of policy, research and advocacy efforts illuminating the need for young people to have access to the sexual health education and services they need to ensure their overall health and well-being. This compendium of policy considerations was developed as a resource for schools and community partners to support the implementation of policies addressing sexual health in schools.

Senate passes ENDA
Thursday, 07 November 2013 15:43

Advocates for Youth welcomes the Senate's passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a bill which would prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.  ENDA is a significant and historic piece of legislation, and the first legislation which addresses the needs of transgender individuals.  However, we are disappointed in the broad exemption for religious organizations opposed to LGBT rights.  Congress should not be handing organizations - schools, universities, hospitals - blank checks to discriminate.  As it moves forward and in future versions, we hope those provisions will be eliminated.  In the short term, we urge President Obama to issue an executive order which would accomplish many of ENDA's goals for federal contractors.

The 1 in 3 Week of Action
Tuesday, 05 November 2013 13:32

October 22-29 was the first ever 1 in 3 Week of Action - and it was a great success!  The goal of the 1 in 3 Campaign is to engage Millennials in starting a new national conversation about abortion—one that puts women’s real life abortion experiences at the center and challenges the cultural stigma and shame that too often silences women’s voices in support of safe abortion care.

The 1 in 3 Campaign Week of Action was designed to engage both traditional and social media to reach a wide audience about the Campaign, while also working closely with our 1 in 3 campus chapters to build a deep and engaged base of support among young people.  Activists across the country held 136 events, with 96 of these on college campuses.  Over 10,000 people took the 1 in 3 Pledge  to speak out against stigma and help build a culture of empathy, support, and access to abortion care.  Many media outlets, including USA Today, covered the week and the importance of elevating people’s stories in the abortion debate.   

Good Read: Masterminds and Wingmen
Monday, 04 November 2013 10:48

by Colin Adamo, Coordinator, Young Men's Initiative

Here at Advocates for Youth, my job is to focus on engaging young men in sexual and reproductive health. This means highlighting the young men already doing excellent work to influence their peers and it also means helping others improve their work with this demographic. It's hard to explain exactly what so many different guys are experiencing as they come of age in America today - the pressures, the inconsistent messaging about who we're supposed to be and how, or the insecurities we might feel but are rarely able to voice.

This is why I was so excited to read Rosalind Wiseman's Masterminds and Wingmen: Helping Our Boys Cope with Schoolyard Power, Locker-Room Tests, Girlfriends, and the New Rules of Boy World and see so much of it captured so well.

Wiseman is the author of Queen Bees and Wannabes: Helping Your Daughter Survive Cliques, Gossip, Boyfriends, and the New Realities of Girl World , the book that was later turned into the movie Mean Girls with the help of Tina Fey. Learning that she would now try to take on the world of boys at first made me nervous. Never having experienced boyhood first hand who was she to chronicle the complexities of modern adolescent masculinity? But her thoroughness and her inclusion of 160 young men in editing this work provide a striking level of insight into the minds and lives of young men and how outsiders to this world can do their best to provide the support and space for guys to grow into men worthy of respect and praise.

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