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SCYAN_LaTwyla

SCYAN_LaTwyla

SCYAN_LaTwyla

Latest posts by SCYAN_LaTwyla (see all)



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If you haven\’t seen Tyler Perry\’s “Temptation: Confession of a Marriage Counselor”, then I suggest you stop reading! *Spoilers Ahead* This movie tackles many issues including adultery, domestic abuse, drug abuse, and most importantly HIV. Jurnee Smollett plays Judith, a woman with many inner struggles who ultimately leaves her husband for a rich and sophisticated drug addict who dopes her up, beats her, and gives her HIV. The movie does an excellent job of sharing the fact that no one \”looks\” like they have HIV, because it could be …

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On July 30th, my Fellowship with Planned Parenthood Health systems ended. Working for PPHS has truly opened my eyes to the services that are available to both women and men here in the Columbia area. The staff is extremely nice and welcoming, and they know exactly how to help you. If you are looking for a new reproductive healthcare provider, go check them out! They are located at 2712 Middleburg Drive. For additional information on their office information, text SEXT to 74574.

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If you are a young person interested in HIV/AIDS issues, I encourage you to join the C2EA youth group on Facebook. They blog, post articles and try to mobilize young people in the field. Every year they host a Youth Action Institute. For more on this, see my previous blog. They also have different working groups corresponding to many different issues within the field. So go join them and get involved!…

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Recently I was selected to attend the Campaign to Ends AIDS youth action institute. They selected youth from all over the country to come to Boston for a week long training. At the end of the week, the group was to initiate an action in the Boston area. In my opinion, this was one of the best conferences that I’ve ever attended! We were forced to completely come out of our shell and come together for LGBTQ youth housing in Boston. Stay tuned for my documentary of the trip.…

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This past March I became a Public Affairs Fellow with Planned Parenthood here in Columbia. In April, we launched our Prevention First Campaign. The campaign consists of various tabling events throughout the summer and canvassing in the Columbia area. The goal of the campaign is to urge our lawmakers to put prevention first by promoting more comprehensive sex ed for youth. Canvassers are still needed for the project, if interested please email latwyla.mathias@pphs.org. Each canvasser will receive a stipend for each completed canvassing shift. For additional information on this project, …

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South Carolina’s current sex ed law has been on the books for 25 years, and many advocates across the state are working tirelessly to have the current sex ed laws revised in order to be more accurate and comprehensive. Recently the SC Statehouse subcommittee heard testimonies on H. 3435, otherwise known as the Healthy Youth Amendment. According to several witnesses, the hearing was standing room only, and much of the crowd was in favor of the amendment. Several prominent members of the public health community gave testimonies and tried …

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So we recieved the decision of Congress as they chose what funding to cut and what to keep.  Bear in mind that education was endangered of suffering a loss of funding, and under that rather large umbrella sits health and sex ed. Now as a concerned citizen, you should write to you representative and ask them to fight for as few cuts to education as possible. America\’s youth deserve a quality education, and unless we stand up and fight for it, we are in danger of losing it. No matter what …

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Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legal advice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice. Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone, violations of the law.

Let’s face it ladies, it seems as though having your period can really really suck at time. When women experience our “time of the month” some women may feel as though they are experiencing one of the worst week of our lives. We are bloated, cranky, and generally not ourselves.  The menstrual period

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Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legal advice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice. Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone, violations of the law.

One popular exercise we use during our trainings is called the Slang Language Activity. During the activity, participants are encouraged to come up with as many slang terms for different body parts as they possibly can.  A popular post by a fellow youth activist is about the many different nicknames of the male

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Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legal advice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice. Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone, violations of the law.

So last month I went to the Richland County Health Department to gain a first hand experience on how the Family Planning Department works. It was a very smooth and easy process (and free!). I made an appointment, arrived early and waited for my birthday to be called (they do this for privacy …

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Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legal advice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice. Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone, violations of the law.

So while reading yet another Cosmo article, I found out about a new medicine-resistant strain of gonorrhea that the CDC is worried about. It is already present in Europe and they fear it may reach the US soon. Condom use and getting tested are extremely important! You would not want to contract an …

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Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legal advice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice. Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone, violations of the law.

While perusing another Cosmo article (clearly I love their site!), I found a list of amazing things the supreme court did for women by upholding the Affordable Care Act. One HUGE win is that as of August 1st, 2012, women with insurance can now have FREE birth control. This is amazing! Check out …

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Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legal advice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice. Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone, violations of the law.

Recently I read an article in Cosmopolitan magazine about the increased usage of IUDs. The article states this is due to increase notoriety of IUDs and the fact that they are more user friendly, meaning women don’t have to remember to use it everyday like the pill. Even though IUDs are popular to …

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Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legal advice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice. Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone, violations of the law.

First, let me just say that I am not a parent, but I do know it can be tough out there for parents in today’s world. Recently I conducted four Pizza Protection Parties at the SC Department of Corrections, and the knowledge that the young ladies had was astounding, however, the lack of …

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Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legal advice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice. Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone, violations of the law.

A few weeks ago I was scheduled to have a table at a community event in SC, which was being hosted bya local black church. The coordinator of the event had already scheduled us to attend and everything was set and ready to go until we got an email from her a few …

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Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legal advice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice. Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone, violations of the law.

Recently I found out that the iconic song, “Let’s Talk About Sex”, by the amazing 90’s trio Salt ‘N Pepa, was an effort by them to ignite a conversation about safe sex and the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic. According to Wikipedia, “The song talks about safe sex, the positive and negative sides of sex …

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Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legal advice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice. Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone, violations of the law.

So recently I was watching MTV’s “Teen Mom” show and my mother noticed what I was watching and suddenly became very worried. “Why are you watching this?” she asked with a puzzled look on her face. “I find it funny,” I responded. It was the truth. People running around like chickens with their …

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Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legal advice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice. Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone, violations of the law.

In a recent article I read in the New York Times, they discussed the widespread misconception about the morning after pill. In working with the SC Youth Activist Network, I have come across many young people who have asked me how EC works, what are the side effects, etc. I explained, as it …

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Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legal advice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice. Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone, violations of the law.

(RED)Rush, will run from June 1st-10th. And what exactly are we ‘rush’ing towards? ZERO. Today and every day 1,000 babies are born with HIV. By 2015 that number can be close to zero. Young activists are meeting up at local Starbucks locations during (RED)Rush and checking in to support this worthy cause! Starbucks …

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The Pill. For many of us who are members of Generation Y, the pill is as universally known to us as the internet. It is a very easy form of birth control that is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, when taken as instructed. The pill should be taken everyday at the same time in order to be effective. The pill does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases and should always be used with a condom or some other barrier device. Also in an emergency, one could take extra doses …

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Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legal advice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice. Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone, violations of the law.

Ok everyone, I’m going to teach you a helpful acronym to remember when using a male condom so that you are using it correctly. It’s called LIPSTICK.
L-Look at the expiration date
I-Inspect the condom (make sure there are no holes or tears)
P-Pinch the condom (make sure there is room for ejaculation)…

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Everyone knows the condom can protect you from STDs and pregnancy, but what you may not know is that the condom does not have to be a "one size fits all" device. It comes in different colors, shapes, textures, and sizes. For the colors, you can find a condom in any color you can imagine, even black! For shapes there is the traditional male condom, which is shaped like a long cylindrical sleeve that fits over the penis. The female condom is larger and fits inside the woman’s vagina. …

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Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legal advice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice.Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone,violations of the law.

Condoms are as universal in today’s world as soda or chocolate. Condoms can be used by anyone, male or female, thanks to the recent invention of the female condom.The female condom however is extremely hard to come by for most people. The male condom is offered free at most health clinics and HIV testing facilities.Condoms …

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Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legaladvice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice.Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone, violations of the law.

At the grocerystore you sometimes “double bag” your groceries. This is to keep them from breaking the bag and falling out. At the grocery store this is a good thing. When having sex, “double bagging” or using two condoms at once, is a bad thing. Double bagging can cause friction during intercourse andone or both …

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Disclaimer: Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legal advice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice. Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone, violations of the law.

So that crucial moment arrives and you are about to have sex. Did you remember to get a condom??? Condoms are sold in every drugstore and super store in America, and there is NO AGE LIMIT on who can purchase them. Condoms are extremely easy to purchase, and they are typically often …

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Disclaimer: Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legal advice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice. Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone, violations of the law.

LARC stands for long acting reversible contraceptive. A LARC can come in the form of an IUD or an implant. An IUD is a intrauterine device, meaning a device that is inserted into your uterus. There are two types of IUDs: Pargard- which is the one with copper, but without hormones and …

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Disclaimer: Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legal advice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice. Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone, violations of the law.

While I still consider myself to be young, I feel like when I was coming up through high school and college, that contraception access was a "normal" thing. It was as simple as going to the doctor and getting it, no questions asked. Today it seems like there is a concentrated effort …

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Advocates for Youth does not provide psychological counseling, or medical or legal advice. No information presented herein is intended as such advice. Furthermore, Advocates for Youth complies with, and does not condone, violations of the law.

 
The term “Double Dutch” simply means using two forms of birth control instead of one. There are two main types of contraceptives: hormonal and barrier. Hormonal contraceptives are birth control pills, IUDs, hormonal implants, hormone injections, the hormone ring, and hormone patches. Barrier contraceptives are condoms (male and female), dental dams, cervical …