I (13 years old) have blood in my underwear. Am I sick?

It’s more than likely you have had your first ‘period’.
Some families and countries actually celebrate this.
It means: you are growing up.

‘Having your period’ means:
The blood in your underwear comes from your vagina.
The vagina leads to a small cavity in your abdomen.
This cavity is called a womb.
There are two ovaries next to the womb.
There is a fallopian tube between each ovary and the womb.
Roughly once a month a tiny little egg is released from the ovary into the fallopian tube.

Now you could become pregnant.
However, in order for this to happen, you would have to have sex with a man or a teenage boy.
But you are still too young for that.
Next, the egg would be ‘fertilised’ by his semen and that means you would be pregnant.
The egg could grow in the womb.
As you are not pregnant the blood comes out of your vagina.
From now on roughly once a month the blood is rinsed out of your womb.
It takes a few days.

You can get sanitary towels or tampons for the blood in the shops or from a chemist.
You place sanitary towels in your underwear.
You push tampons into your vagina.
Ask a girl friend or your mother if they can help you.
Sometimes you may experience bleeding for a long period of time or you may have strong pains.
If this is the case you should consult your doctor.

How do I know if I have HIV?

You cannot tell if someone has HIV.
Only a HIV test can tell you
if you have the HIV virus in your body or not.

You can take a HIV test at a Gesundheitsamt (health office).
The HIV test is free and anonymous.
You do not have to pay any money.
You do not have to give your name.
A doctor will take blood from you.
Then look for the HIV virus in your blood.

If there’s no HIV in your blood, then that’s good.
If you have HIV in your blood, you will receive medications.
If you have HIV or AIDS, you should never have sex with others without condoms.
Otherwise you could infect the other person.

Text: AWO-Zentrum für Aidsarbeit Schwaben
www.zas-schwaben.de

I do NOT want to get HIV. What can I do? How can I protect myself?

If you use condoms correctly, you will not get HIV through having sex.
Condoms can be purchased in various places,
such as supermarkets, petrol stations or pharmacies.

Important: Do not use condoms which have been left in the sun.
Do not use old condoms.
Do not use broken condoms.

Use a condom when you want to have sex with a girl or boy.
Pull the condom over the penis.
Condoms provide good protection.

I have questions about HIV and AIDS. Who can I talk to?
If you have questions about HIV and AIDS, you can get help from an AIDSBERATUNGSSTELLE (AIDS Advice Centre) or AIDSHILFE (AIDS Support Centre).
These centres can be found in many towns and cities.
You do not have to pay and they will not talk to anyone else about your questions.

Text: AWO-Zentrum für Aidsarbeit Schwaben
www.zas-schwaben.de

I am 16 years old. A doctor asked me if I have HIV or AIDS. What is HIV? What is AIDS?

HIV and AIDS are two different things.
HIV is a virus.
A virus is hidden in your body and can make you ill.
AIDS is a disease which can be triggered by this virus.
If you have HIV in your body for a long time, you can get AIDS.
AIDS can kill you if it is not treated.

There are good medications which fight HIV.
These medications reduce the amount of HIV in your body.
So you cannot infect anybody with HIV.
And you do not get AIDS.
You can live for a long time with these medications.

In Germany you do not have to pay for these medications yourself.
Your health insurance will pay for HIV medications.
People with HIV can decide who they want to tell.
The law prohibits people from outing others.

Be careful and abide by the following:

  • Do not have sex with any other person without a condom (vaginal or anal sex).
  • Do not inject drugs. Using syringes and needles is dangerous. Do not pass on syringes or needles to others.
  • If you are bleeding or have an open wound, make sure that no foreign blood enters the wound.

Text: AWO-Zentrum für Aidsarbeit Schwaben
www.zas-schwaben.de

I am a 17-year-old girl. My doctor asked me if I have been cut. What does that mean?

“Cutting” (or “female genital mutilation”) is when part of the vulva is cut off.
The vulva is the name for the female external genital organs.
You may have been cut when you were a small child.
You may not be able to remember anything about it.

There are several different forms of “cutting”.
Sometimes a small part is cut away.
Such as the “clitoris”.
This is at the upper end of the vulva.
Or the “labia”.
These are the flaps of skin around the vagina.

Sometimes the vagina is covered.
By joining the inner or outer labia.
Leaving only a small opening for urine and blood.

This may be normal for you. You may not have understood the doctor’s question.
Most women in Germany are not “cut”.
That is why the doctor asked you this question.
In Germany, “cutting” is banned and punishable by law.
This means that adults who cut girls are doing something wrong.

Cutting can harm girls’ health.
Girls can find more information or help here:
http://www.imma.de/einrichtungen/wuestenrose.html

At what age am I allowed to have sex?

There are two main things to consider:
Your age and your relationship to the person you are having sex with.
This table shows the ages at which sex is permitted and prohibited:

 

Age 0-13 14-15 16-17 18-20 21+
0-13 NO NO NO NO NO
14-15 NO YES YES YES NO
16-17 NO YES YES YES YES
18-20 NO YES YES YES YES
21+ NO NO YES YES YES

Both people must want to have sex.
If one person doesn’t want to have sex, sex is prohibited.
Nobody is allowed to force you to have sex.

Do you live in a residential home?

You are not allowed to have sex under the age of 16.

 

Sex is prohibited between the following people:

  • Parents and children
  • Step parents and children
  • Male or female teachers with male or female pupils
  • Male or female carers with young people in a residential home or youth facility
  • On a training course, at work or on an internship, your male or female tutor is not allowed to have sex with you.
  • If you are living in a family as a foster child, your foster parents are not allowed to have sex with you.
  • Your legal guardian is also not allowed to have sex with you.

None of these people are allowed to force or persuade you to have sex.

If they do, get help immediately.

I am a 14-year-old girl. Am I allowed to have sex?

When we say “sex”, we mean all contact in intimate areas.

In Germany, this is generally permitted before marriage.

But only when both people want to!

It is also ok if you don’t want to have sex.

 

In Germany, the law states that:

Forcing someone to have sex is prohibited.

Nobody is allowed to force you.

You are always allowed to say no.

 

You can also change your mind.

Maybe at first you wanted to have sex.

You do not always have to feel the same.

People do not always want to have sex.

Sometimes it’s nice and sometimes it isn‘t.

And that is ok.

 

You are still very young.

Think carefully about what you want.

In another section, you can see the precise age restrictions for sex.