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Feelings Do Matter

Feelings Do Matter


Addressing young adult and adolescent mental stress and the coping mechanisms needed to negotiate safe sex are just as important as practical condom-use instruction, according to a study reported in this year's edition of the Journal of Prevention & Intervention in the Community. Sexual situations can bring up positive feelings, says Celia Lescano of Bradley/Hasbro Children's Research Center, but, she adds, they can also bring stress or uncertainty. In general, Lescano says, psychiatric issues or stress can increase youths' HIV risk. These issues can make it more difficult to manage the sexual experience, including whether condoms are used at all, used properly, or discussed. 'It's not as simple as, 'You need to use a condom. Here's one. Go use it,' ' she explains. 'It is, 'Here's a condom. Let's talk about how you might feel bringing up using this with your partner.' ' Emotions and how to be assertive rather than passive'but not aggressive'also come into play.

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