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Atlanta program
will educate young lesbians on STDs, medical testing

Atlanta program
will educate young lesbians on STDs, medical testing

With the help of a $10,000 grant, the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative and YouthPride, an Altanta LGBT youth center, are launching an initiative to educate young lesbians on sexually transmitted diseases and the importance of medical testing.

The Atlanta Women's Foundation offered the grant, which went to the creation of the health initiative, called Project EARLY (Expanding and Accelerating Resources for Lesbian Youth Health). Project EARLY will provide street outreach, clinical visits, bimonthly health workshops at YouthPride's Inman Park Center, and workshops at Atlanta-area college campuses each quarter. The workshops will provide health information and help young women attain affordable Pap smears and testing for the human papillomavirus and sexually transmitted diseases.

"The young women of our community deserve educational programming that takes into account their range of sexual identities and behaviors, and appreciates the barriers they may experience when seeking preventive screening or sexual health information from some providers," said Linda Ellis, executive director of the Health Inititative.

Ellis pointed out that LGBT youth often exhibit more health risk factors than their straight peers, including multiple past sexual partners, earlier age at first sexual intercourse, history of STDs, low STD screening rates, and higher rates of smoking. (The Advocate)

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