Resources for Youth
on Sexuality

The three resources described below, In Our Own Words: Teens and AIDS; Risky Times: How to be AIDS-Smart and Stay Healthy; and Raising Healthy Kids: Families Talk About Sexual Health, were produced by Media Works, Inc. Media Works is a nonprofit production company that produces health-related videos and books about health issues for young people and their families. Media Works' resources about HIV and sexuality help inspire healthy dialogue in families about these issues and give families information and skills they need to stay healthy. For information about ordering these resources, visit the Media Works site.

In Our Own Words: Teens and AIDS

In Our Own Words: Teens and AIDS is a 20 minute video (including an accompanying Educator's Discussion Guide) profiling five young people infected with HIV through unprotected sexual intercourse as teenagers. It is available in Spanish and is closed-captioned. Young people with HIV address living with AIDS, denial, postponing sexual activity, condoms, the potential link between alcohol and risky behavior, and making healthy decisions.

The video is used nationally in schools, colleges and universities, departments of health, and community-based organizations. Although designed for young people grades five and higher, the video is used by parent outreach programs and through workplace Human Resource Departments to help parents better understand the challenges faced by young people growing up in the era of AIDS.

In Our Own Words: Teens and AIDS has been adapted as the supplemental AIDS video for the AIDS program co-developed by the American Red Cross and Boys and Girls Clubs of America. It has won numerous honors including:
  • International Communications Film and Video Festival Hugo Award and Gold Plaque/Talent Award
  • National Educational Media Network (Silver Apple Award)
  • International Council on Health Film Festival (Second Place)
  • Selected to be screened at the National AIDS Update Conference

Risky Times: How to be AIDS-Smart and Stay Healthy (a book for teens)

Risky Times: How to be AIDS-Smart and Stay Healthy is used by schools and community organizations nationwide. Appropriate for young people grades five and higher, this 150 page book includes chapters on denial, decision making, peer pressure, condoms, drugs and discrimination. Fifteen young people with HIV are profiled in the book. Quotes from celebrities and peer educators are woven through the text. Risky Times is updated regularly for scientific accuracy and is available in Spanish (Tiempos de Riesgo).

With support from corporations and foundations, the Risky Times Book Project has distributed 150,000 books to schools and community service organizations. John Hancock Financial Services launched the Risky Times Book Project in 1991 with a donation of 16,000 copies of the book, one copy for every high school student in the Boston Public Schools where the book remains the cornerstone of the AIDS curriculum. Risky Times has been named to the American Library Association's List of Best Books for the Young Reader.

Raising Healthy Kids: Families Talk About Sexual Health

Raising Healthy Kids is designed to help families of young children and preadolescent and adolescent children communicate about sexual health. It consists of two videos and accompanying discussion guides.

Video #1, For Parents of Young Children, includes interviews with children, parents and experts. It features discussion about setting limits, telling the truth, labeling body parts, how babies are made, self-touching, appropriate/inappropriate touch and more.

Video #2, For Parents of Preadolescents and Adolescents, includes interviews with young people, parents and experts. It features discussion about values, listening, avoiding absolutes, mixed messages, relationships, and more.

Raising Healthy Kids is an excellent resource for use in the workplace, religious settings, and community groups. Corporate Human Resource Departments are developing workplace and community programs which highlight the resource, including:
  • 3M in St. Paul, Minnesota will incorporate it into a series of lunch time programs for employees called A Six Week Course on Raising Healthy Kids.
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maine will make Raising Healthy Kids available to corporate clients and to participating physician's offices. They will offer the videos to employees through a series of Lunch and Learn sessions.
  • In Los Angeles, CBS is featuring Raising Healthy Kids in sessions designed to provide employees with guidance on the family and will lend the videos and guides to employees, for their personal use, out of the lending library.
  • In Boston, Tufts Health Plan and Partners HealthCare System (the affiliation of Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women's Hospital and North Shore Medical Center) are collaborating on a series of Community Family Nights featuring Raising Healthy Kids. Tufts and Partners will provide copies of the videos to parents attending Family Nights.

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