Frequently Asked Questions: Youth
You've got questions? We've got answers. Here are a few common questions teens often have about sex ed and sexual health.
Where can I find a clinic?
Your parents or a trusted adult are a good place to start if you have medical questions about sexual health. If you have your own doctor and feel comfortable speaking with them with or without your parents, that’s another great resource to learn more about sexual health issues such as birth control and testing for sexually transmitted infections.
If you do not have your own doctor or clinic that you usually go to for regular check-ups, there are several free and confidential teen-friendly clinics where you can get services. To find a clinic near you, go to https://www.teensource.org/find-a-clinic.
California has a program called Family PACT (California's Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment program) which provides access to reproductive health services. If you live in California, go to http://www.familypact.org to find out which clinics near you use Family PACT and can help you receive services for little or no cost.
Will they tell my parents?
Clinics are confidential and don’t allow anyone’s personal information to get out. Under California law, teenagers have the right to obtain contraception, STI testing and treatment, and other health services without an adult’s permission or knowledge. In fact, clinics and health care providers cannot give parents any information about their children’s medical treatment or consultation––or even tell parents that their child visited the clinic––without the child’s consent. This rule allows minors to make decisions about their health while maintaining their privacy. However, doctors and clinics are required to notify others in the case of the potential for a patient to hurt themselves or others.
What if I can't go to the clinic after school?
Many clinics are open during school hours, and schools must allow students to make appointments for certain types of confidential services during this time. Minors (young people under the age of 18) in California have the right to leave school to obtain medical treatment and/or consultation without their parents' consent. You should check with your school’s health office to find out what you need to do to make sure a health care appointment during school hours is properly recorded as an excused absence.
How do I pay for my clinic visit?
If you have benefits from health insurance that will cover some or all of the cost, you may choose to go to a drug store to fill a birth control or STI treatment prescription. Many health clinics offer free condoms as well as birth control options at a reduced rate. You may need to complete a form that ensures your services or prescriptions remain confidential for insurance billing. As your doctor about any forms you may need to complete for confidential health insurance billing.
If you tell clinic providers that you are unable to pay or if you would like your prescription to remain confidential, they will help you obtain free services paid for by the state of California through a program called Family PACT (California's Family Planning, Access, Care, and Treatment program). To learn more about Family PACT, visit www.familypact.org.
I'm a high school student who received sex ed from Health Connected –– how can I stay involved with Health Connected?
From time to time we have opportunities for young people to get more involved with our work through internships, focus groups, or advisory boards. The best way to find out about these opportunities is to connect with us on social media: