Robyn Dayton is a Technical Officer at FHI where she works on the research utilization portfolio of youth reproductive and sexual health activities.
I had the opportunity to present at Sex Tech 2011 in San Francisco, CA a few weeks ago. It was a great conference, and it was awesome to be surrounded by the energy of so many people who care about youth sexual and reproductive health and have ideas on how to harness technology to promote that health.
There are some really interesting initiatives that use technology to promote adolescent sexual and reproductive health. For example, texting is being used by peer educators to answer questions and make referrals, by clinic workers to give information on contraceptive options after abortion, and by organizations seeking to help women use family planning more effectively. Facebook is also being used all over the world to promote contraception. Some organizations are using Facebook campaigns to promote male condoms, the female condom, and long-acting methods for youth. Twitter is also widely used. Finally, there are some innovative campaigns designed to start conversations among youth on topics such as HIV.
More traditional media was also represented at the conference. The producers of MTV’s “16 and Pregnant,” along with their partners at the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, joined the conference to talk about the impact of their incredibly popular show and the work they are doing to increase awareness of unplanned pregnancy.
For more information on the conference, check out their Web site, sextech.org.