If you’re a pre-teen, teen or young adult, talking about your health, your changing body and your relationships can feel awkward. Asking questions about topics like birth control, sex, sexual identity or pregnancy can feel even more awkward.
You may feel embarrassed, or even scared, to ask a parent, guardian or trusted adult about sensitive topics.
And although we always recommend talking with a trusted adult or health care provider first, we know teens often head to the internet as their first source of information.
There’s a lot of misinformation out there, and the need for trusted resources and the facts are critical. That’s exactly why we created AwkTalk.
The AwkTalk™ website is a resource for teens to get answers to life’s awkward questions about sexual health, puberty, relationships, sexually transmitted infections and more from medical experts. We believe access to knowledge and resources helps empower teens make informed, healthy choices and strengthens their futures.
We know these topics can be really awkward for parents, too. AwkTalk gives parents, guardians and other trusted adults resources to help them start these awkward, but crucial, conversations.
AwkTalk is brought to you by a partnership between CelebrateOne (City of Columbus) and Columbus Public Health, in consultation with medical professionals from Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Our goal is to provide medically accurate, comprehensive and inclusive teen reproductive health education and connect teens to resources, ultimately reducing unintended teen pregnancies in Columbus, Ohio.
Reproductive health education provides a wide variety of benefits for Central Ohio teens: and it benefits our communities, too. By reducing unintended teen pregnancies, we also work to reduce infant mortality rates.
AwkTalk provides user-friendly factual information to young people and their families, backed by medical experts, helping teens make informed decisions, avoid unplanned pregnancies and reduce their sexually transmitted infection risk.
Why Is Teen Reproductive Health Education Important?
In 2019, the teen birth rate across Franklin County dipped to an all-time low, but some neighborhoods continue to have extremely elevated teen birth rates. In priority areas such as Franklinton, Hilltop, Linden, Northland, Southeast and Southside, teen birth rates were up to five times higher than the rest of Franklin County.
Franklin County is experiencing epidemic levels of sexually transmitted infections as county incidence significantly exceeds state and national numbers. Youth under 19 years of age make up 37% of all chlamydia cases in Franklin County.
Teens (15-19 years old) who give birth in Franklin County are twice as likely to have a baby die within the first year of life when compared to women 20 years of age and older.
Teen pregnancies (ages 15-19) account for 4.5% of all pregnancies in Franklin County.
A leading contributor to infant mortality is prematurity, and teens ages 15 to 19 in Franklin County are significantly more likely to have a premature baby (ODH Department of Vital Statistics, analyzed by Columbus Public Health, 2016).