|Type of paper:
|Teaching Students Healthcare HIV Human sexuality
Sexually transmitted infection (STI) is a disease due to a virus or bacteria (Mayo Clinic, 2019). STIs are transmitted between people, mainly via sexual contact. When an infected person has sexual interaction with an individual who is infected, the uninfected individual becomes infected with the infection (Mayo Clinic, 2019). Examples of STIs include gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, HPV, and HIV. Conferring to ODPHP (2020), approximately 19 million novel cases of STDs are diagnosed every year in the US, with half of that population being young people aged 15 to 24 years. Healthy People 2020 also states that more than one million Americans are living with HIV, and 1 out of 5 individuals with HIV are not aware they have the disease.
According to CDC 2019, within the age bracket of 15 to 24, acquire half of all novel STIs and that 1 in 4 sexually functional teenage females have an STD, for example, HPV or chlamydia. Also, the CDC 2019 reports that the risk of acquiring STDs in teenagers and young adults is due to a mixture of biological, behavioral, and cultural causes. Conferring to Healthy People 2020, in 2016, approximately 46 percent of high school learners engaged in sex, and about 68 percent of teenagers in every 1000 young women became pregnant. The paper provides a summary of the teaching plan, the epidemiological rationale for teaching safe sex and STIs among teenagers, an evaluation of the experience, community response, and areas of strength and areas of improvement.
Summary of Teaching Plan
The program is a community education project specifically driven to educate teenagers on the importance of engaging in safe sex g safe sex among teenagers and the prevention of sexually transmitted infections in teenagers. The program was estimated to run for about fifteen minutes in one of the halls at Edison High School. The community education program aimed at instituting knowledge on the dangers of unsafe sex on this vulnerable group of students due to the lack of health education, which is only available to them during their senior year. Based on the statistics by CDC, these groups of students are at risk of acquiring new STDs such as chlamydia and also are at risk of teenage pregnancies. The teaching plan on safe sex and STIs consisted of PowerPoint, questions, and free candy.
The PowerPoint contained multiple facts such as about 19 million novel cases of STDs are diagnosed every year in the US, with half of that population being young people aged 15 to 24 year and that 46 percent of high school students engaged in sex. After the facts, the presentation defined STIs and provided recent statistics on the topic. For example, in 2016-2017, the frequency of documented cases of gonorrhea, chlamydia, and P&S syphilis augmented for both males and females in 15 to 24-year-olds (CDC, 2017). Also, each STI and HIV were discussed, methods of transmission, signs, and symptoms, methods of testing, prevention methods p, and if there is a cure. After the PowerPoint presentation, the students were asked questions mainly through flashcards on safe sex, prevention of STI, and the role teenagers can play in the eradication of teen STD infections. The questions and the response from students were then used to evaluate the success of the teaching plan.
There is a sufficient amount of data that a vast population of American teenagers engages in to become sexually active at an early age. For example, among high school students in America in 2015, approximately 40 percent had been involved in sex or other sexual practices (ODPHP, 2020). The CDC states that teenagers and young adults participate in sexual practices that can result in STIs and teenage pregnancies. Conferring to CDC (2019), in 2018, the frequency of reported cases of chlamydia in females aged 15 to 19 years stood at 3,306.8 cases per 100,000 females. The figure marked a 1.3 percent rise from 3,264.8 cases per 100,000 females in 2017 (CDC, 2019). Also, according to the report by CDC (2016), approximately 30 percent of high school students who engage in sex, about 21 percent used drugs, for example, alcohol before sexual intercourse, and 14 percent did not employ any preventive measure during sex. Furthermore, 42 percent of teenagers did not use condoms in their last sexual experience (CDC, 2016). Besides, the CDC (2016) report states that only 10 percent of students who frequently engaged in sex have undergone HIV testing.
The above statistics portray an undesirable picture concerning teenagers and their sexual risk behaviors, which puts them at risk for unintentional sexually transmitted infections and diseases, including HIV. High school teenagers are in a period in their lives where they desire to explore and take control of their lives. Education of potential dangers and consequences of their activities should be taken into consideration at this stage of their lives.
Evaluation of Teaching Experience
Before carrying out the presentation, I was a little bit nervous since engaging the youth in educational programs is always a challenge as most of them will often avoid the lesson. The subject matter is already a delicate topic in this population, and the issue of safe sex and STI is not an easy topic for the youth. However, what was in the forefront of my mind is to educate the high school students on the importance of safe sex and prevention of STIs. Teenagers are fast learners, primarily when they are engaged in an enjoyable, intense program and using the right technique, which makes them very responsive. Through the "hands-on" techniques to educating the students, and with the help of technology, learning has been easy, more interactive, which made the teaching experience wonderful. In this teaching program, the students were from various backgrounds and different levels of education. Based on the fact that the learners were from diverse backgrounds, I had to consider cultural disposition as a primary factor as well as a breakdown of the material to everyone's knowledge. Also, based on the diverse backgrounds of the students, health disparities faced by the learners render them susceptible to truancy, participating in risky behaviors, drugs and alcohol abuse, and lack of access to preventive care. Besides, the development phase of the learners also renders them susceptible to negative influence from friends and foster lousy decision making.
The participants responded well to the lesson despite the topic being contentious, and I was amazed by the level of maturity demonstrated by the students. The flashcard activity showed tremendous success with everybody getting the answers correct; it helped in breaking the monotony of presentation and fully engaged the learners. The practical sessions were the most interesting though some students were corky concerning the whole of condoms and how they are supposed to be properly fit. Nonetheless, I took control of the class when it was necessary, and sometimes I left the lesson to play out via intense discussions of why often people get infected with diseases that ought to be kept under control. The experience of involving teenagers on a topic rarely discussed openly was itself a learning experience and very interactive. I hope that the data provided to the learners will persist in the back of each of these students' minds when the eventual event of sex happens and that they will be able to advocate for themselves and their partners' deterrence of STIs.
Community Response to Teaching
Being an educator, the most appropriate technique to engage the youth is by fostering their curiosity. One of the best practices is to present opportunities for giving learners "practical" education and help them to improve their self-esteem during the learning process (Flores & Barroso, 2017). When the technique is included correctly, both the educator and the learners or people responsible for the program will be fully engaged during the lesson. Every group of teenagers has various sets of characteristics and unique developmental needs; hence, as an educator, it is crucial to possess an in-depth knowledge of these kinds of needs. Consistent with Flores & Barroso (2017), most parents are usually skeptical concerning the activities their children engage in during their social time. Nonetheless, only a few parents are prepared to engage youths on the issues and challenges concerned with their sexual activities and sexuality. Hence, this poses a challenge in society, in which most people discuss sex and sexuality when it is too late.
Most parents who are open towards sex education and lessons that concern sexuality has either experienced these issues directly or have been indirectly affected through family experiences or family friends (Flores & Barroso, 2017). In this specific community, the parents of the learners who took part in the program were receptive to the concept of the sexual education plan. Besides, the parents requested a lesson pamphlet for the students, which is currently available for all students at the Health Center. I hope the brochures will significantly help the students from acquiring STIs and HIV or even teenage pregnancies.
Areas of Strength and Areas of Improvement
The areas of strength throughout the lesson program on safe sex and STIs are several. The first strength is the large population of students who attended the lesson program. Hence, this provides me the opportunity to engage and educate a vast number of teenagers who are my primary target audience and are at immediate risk of contracting new STDs. Hence, it is expected that the lesson imparted knowledge on a large number of people, which would go a long way in helping to prevent infections in teenagers. Also, the large population was of advantage because it enabled me to get feedback and opinions from students, which would guide other future education programs on a similar topic. The second area of strength was the facts that I stated at the start of the presentation, which provided a blueprint for discussion and heated debate as well as candy and using flashcard questions to evaluate the student's understanding. Based on an article by Hudson (2015), the author mentions ten best methods of engaging teenagers in a presentation. These methods include asking how they are faring, make it about teenagers, allow teachings from the teens, employ culture, engage in an activity, get the teens involved, provide them with an option, give the teenagers a challenge, employ technology, and be yourself. Hence, the application of these techniques resulted in the engagement of students portrayed by how they correctly answered all questions addressed to them.
Furthermore, the other strength is the practical session during the presentation, which marked the climax of the lesson. The students were very eager to learn how to use condoms effectively. All the students who participated in the activity gained adequate knowledge that would assist them when they get entangled in teenage sex. Moreover, some students were very attentive in class and repeatedly asked questions while others were willingly open to discuss STDs and volunteered during the practical session. Hence, there is an expectation that the program will help limit STI infection among teenagers.
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