SEXUAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR TEENS
Free Pregnancy Testing…Birth Control…Abortion Options…GYN Exams…STI Testing & Treatment. Choices has everything teens need for sexual and reproductive health. There are no age restrictions, and you do not need parental or anyone’s permission for any of our services.
Everything is totally confidential. Your personal needs, preferences and decisions about your sexual health care are kept private between you and your Choices medical team.
Our counselors are prepared to answer all of your questions privately in a non-judgmental, supportive and comfortable environment. Choices staff is knowledgeable and sensitive to issues and concerns about gender identity, sexual orientation and healthy relationships. Our patients come from all over New York City and state as well as New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and other locations.
You can walk in, call, text or book an online appointment and be seen right away, even the same or next day. We take credit cards and most insurances, and financial help is available. Call us, and we will be glad to help you make an appointment for whatever you need.
FREE PREGNANCY TESTING
Choices offers free pregnancy testing for everyone, including teens. You do not need parental – or anyone’s – permission. You can make an appointment or just walk in. You will give a urine sample and get the result right away.
Please see our special webpages for ABORTION SERVICES TO 24 WEEKS OF PREGNANCY, PRENATAL CARE, AND ADOPTION. All of these services are confidential and there are no age requirements or other restrictions.
STIs & STDs (SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS/DISEASES) – TREATMENT & PREVENTION
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and diseases (STDs) are spread through intimate sexual activity: vaginal, anal and oral sex. Many STDs can be cured. Others cannot. But all STIs and STDs can and must be treated.
If you think you have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease or have symptoms like unusual discharge, itching, a rash or anything that doesn’t feel normal, contact Choices immediately. You will be given an appointment for counseling, testing and, if needed, treatment.
A Choices healthcare professional will answer all your questions, get you any needed treatment and advise you on making responsible decisions about your sexual health. It is completely confidential, just between you and your Choices healthcare professional, and no one can get your information unless you want them to.
Only properly used LATEX condoms and barriers provide protection against STIs, STDs and HIV/AIDS. See our special webpage for more information about the most common STIs/STDs.
HIV (AIDS) TESTING AND COUNSELING
Choices offers complete and confidential HIV counseling and testing for teens. HIV is a virus that causes AIDS. All Choices counselors are New York State-trained to work with individuals who may test positive for HIV.
Choices offers a program of two counseling visits: the first visit is scheduled right before you are tested to answer any questions you may have and to explain how testing works. The second visit is scheduled after the test results are in. You will review the test results with a counselor, get answers to your questions, and, if necessary, begin to put a treatment and support program in place. HIV is not curable but it can be controlled and, if caught early enough, enable HIV-positive people to live long and active lives.
Most HIV/AIDS cases are linked to unprotected sexual activity and intravenous (IV) drug use. Casual, non-intimate contact does not transmit HIV from one person to another. It takes a direct blood-to-blood or semen/vaginal fluid-to-blood exchange for the virus to pass to another person. Direct contact with body fluids containing blood from a person with HIV may increase the risk of infection.
Most people with HIV do not show signs of the disease and may not even be aware that they have it. This is why it is so important to get tested, and tested often, if you have unprotected sex or sex with multiple partners. If you feel that you may have been exposed to HIV/AIDS, even if you are not experiencing any symptoms, remember that you can transmit this virus to others via sexual intercourse or needle sharing. And remember, most methods of birth control do not provide HIV/AIDS protection.
DEVELOPING HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS
Everyone has relationships with people they come into contact with. Relationships can be with family members, schoolmates, friends, teachers and romantic partners. Some relationships can be sexual, but all relationships should be healthy. They should be based on honesty, trust and mutual respect. They should make you feel comfortable, secure and respected.
Unhealthy relationships can involve physical violence but not always. Make an appointment to speak with a Choices counselor if someone hurts you physically or makes you feel trapped, isolated, frightened or bad about yourself. You need help if someone forces you to have sex or do other things you don’t want to. A counselor can help you decide how to change your situation and keep yourself safe.
Everyone deserves to be in relationships that:
- Are based on mutual respect, trust and honesty;
- Are supportive and uplifting;
- Make you happy, secure and feel safe.
SAFE SEX – KEEPING YOU HEALTHY
Safe sex is smart sex. It means keeping you healthy and, perhaps, even saving your life. If you are sexually active, if you have or had multiple sexual partners, if you have or had a sexually transmitted infection (STI), the only sex you should be having is safe sex. This means using male or female condoms or dental dams every time you have sex. Condoms also protect against unwanted pregnancies.
Safe sex protects you and your partner/s against spreading HIV/AIDS or other sexually transmitted infections or diseases. You can get infected if you are active sexually and exchange bodily fluids – semen, vaginal fluid and blood – during unprotected sex. A person may be infected and may be able to infect others without showing any sign of disease.
- Be smart. Use male condoms, female condoms or dental dams as barriers.
- Be bold. Ask your partner(s) about their sexual history and be willing to share your own.
- Be sensible. Limit the number of people you have sex with.
- Remember that some safe sex practices such as using condoms can also be used as birth control, but most forms of birth control do not protect against sexually transmitted infections.
Speak to a Choices counselor about safe sex practices and any concerns or questions. Your appointment and conversation are always kept completely private.
Choices offers many different types of birth control and its team of experienced and knowledgeable health care providers created the ESPC Model to help you to select the type that is right for you.
E–Effectiveness: Some methods are less than 50% effective; others are over 99% effective. How important is it for you to avoid pregnancy?
S-Safety: There are benefits and risks to every type of birth control and every patient reacts differently. By taking your health history into consideration, a Choices health care professional will recommend the safest type of birth control for you.
P-Personality: The Choices counseling staff and dedicated health care providers will take the time to get to know you in order to help select the method of birth control that best suits you needs, likes, dislikes and lifestyle.
C-Cost: Birth control ranges in price from $0-$1,000 depending on which method you choose. Most insurances will cover the cost of your birth control. If you qualify, you can get free birth control by enrolling on-site at Choices for the New York State Family Planning Benefit Program or Family Planning Extension Program.
Make an appointment online, walk in for a same day appointment, or call a Choices representative to have a confidential conversation about your birth control needs. Remember, at Choices our specialty is YOU!
HPV Gardasil (HPV or the Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine)
The Gardasil vaccine can protect girls and young women, ages 9 through 26, against HPV, the Human Papilloma Virus, that causes 90% of all genital wart cases. You may have heard friends talking or worrying about getting genital warts, lesions or sores through sexual contact. Most of these are caused by HPV.
Genital warts are hard to see. They are the same color as your skin and can grow inside or outside of your genital area. They can hurt, itch, bleed or cause discomfort and may be difficult to treat and remove. Regardless of your gender or age, if you are sexually active and have sex involving genital contact there is a 50% chance that you will catch HPV during your lifetime. HPV can cause changes in the cells of your cervix, a pre-cancerous condition that if left untreated can cause cancer of the cervix.
A confidential appointment with a Choices gynecologist will give you all the information you need to decide whether or not the Gardasil vaccine is right for you. As with all vaccines, Gardasil may not fully protect you against this virus if you have already been exposed. You may want to consider speaking to your parents or another trusted adult about Gardasil as a way to prevent HPV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
Rape and Sexual Violence Counseling
If you are a victim of rape or sexual violence you should get help immediately. Understand that what happened to you is NOT your fault. You must tell someone, a parent or trusted adult, and if that is not possible you must reach out and talk to a counselor who will provide confidential support, care and guidance.
If the violence is continuing, let a Choices counselor help get you out of danger and into a safe place.
You may feel confused or overwhelmed with fear, anger, shock and rage. You may become withdrawn, depressed and want to be alone. You may feel panic and be full of fear. You may struggle to carry on with everyday life and pretend that nothing is wrong. There is no right or wrong way to feel after someone hurts you, but you cannot go through it alone.
Choices counselors are trained to deal with situations like yours. You can trust them. Reach out and call or text for a same- or next-day appointment. Your safety and well-being are our concern.