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

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

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:

I am a 15-year-old boy. I think I am in love with a boy. Is that prohibited? What can I do?

Being in love is a great feeling and is not prohibited in Germany!
Sometimes a girl falls in love with a girl.
Sometimes a boy falls in love with a boy.
That is completely normal.
It is not prohibited.

In some countries and religions, people say that it is a sin.
You might therefore think that your feelings are bad.
You might therefore not want to have these feelings.
But we would like you to know:
Your feelings are natural and are not a sin.
You cannot choose your feelings.
Your feelings are ok.

Sometimes people find it good to tell someone.
But telling someone is not easy and requires a lot of courage.
Perhaps you can talk about your feelings with someone you trust.
You will find more support on this website: www.sextra.de

I am a 16-year-old girl. And I have only been in Germany for a few weeks. Everything is different here. What is life like for women and girls in Germany?

A lot of things must seem strange to you here in Germany.
Women and girls have the same rights as men and boys.
These rights apply to all women and girls who live in Germany.
It is important for women and girls to know these rights.
Do you know your rights?

Here are a few examples:
You are allowed to study and attend school.
You are allowed to choose a job for yourself.
You are allowed to travel alone when you are old enough.
You are allowed to make your own decisions.
You are allowed to decide whether to get married or not.
You are allowed to have a boyfriend or girlfriend.
You are allowed to dress as you like.
You are allowed to go out with anyone.

It is important for boys and girls to know these rights.
These rights must be respected.

This link will take you to a website containing more information.
An information sheet is available in many different languages (Albanian, Arabic, Bosnian, English, Farsi, Dari, French, Serbian and Somali – and new languages are always being added).
Read the text carefully.
It is important for you to know the rights of women and girls.

My friends want to go to the swimming pool with me (14). You can look at naked women there. Is that true?

Girls and boys and men and women like going to the swimming pool.
When the weather is good they go to an open-air pool or lake.
Here there are often meadows in which you can relax and sunbathe.
And there are spaces for playing games and sports.
When the weather is bad people go to the indoor swimming pool.
Here there is only space to relax after swimming.

Everyone wears swimming costumes.
They want to swim, relax and have fun.
Nobody wants to be stared at or touched.

In Europe many people don’t wear very much when swimming.
This is for practical reasons, to allow wet clothes to dry out more quickly.

Watching women and girls is rude.
Sometimes women and girls feel harassed by these glances.
If you want to look, then do so briefly.
You are never allowed to touch or harass. Otherwise you can get into trouble.
Grabbing women and girls is prohibited.

If you want to get to know a girl, you must speak to her politely.
You could ask: Can I buy you an ice cream?
Or would you like to play table tennis?

Important: Learn to swim so that you don’t drown in deep water!

I have signed up to Facebook on my smartphone. How can I get to know people?

Facebook is a social network on the internet.
A social network is:
A virtual space where people from around the world can talk to each other.
Instagram and WhatsApp are also social networks.
You can get in touch with old friends.
And find new friends.

It can be exciting to get to know new people.
But sometimes you have to be careful around strangers.
Strangers are people you have met on the internet
and have never seen in real life.

Here are a few tips:
Do not give your real name and address.
Do not give out your telephone number.
Do not put up any photos of your friends on the internet.
They might not like that.

Important: Do not meet a stranger off the internet on your own.
Take someone with you who you know well.
Agree to meet in a square or a café.

My parents have found someone for me to marry. But I do NOT want to get married. What can I do?

That is a very difficult situation.
Forcing people to get married
is prohibited in Germany.

You have several options:
First option:
You can try to talk to your family about it.
Your family might not realise that they are doing something illegal.
But they may not want to listen to you.

Second option:
You can leave your family before the planned wedding.
You can get help.
But be careful! Do not tell anybody about your plans in advance.

You can always contact Wüstenrose.
The telephone number is 0 89 – 45 21 63 50.
The people who work there know about the support facilities available in Germany.
They will talk to you about what you can do now.
You do not have to give your name on the telephone.

Text from Wüstenrose (IMMA e.V.)

I am a 17-year-old girl. I would like to marry my boyfriend. Is that permitted in Germany?

You can get married to your boyfriend.
Marriage is an official relationship before the law.
A registry office will confirm the relationship.

There are various regulations relating to marriage in Germany.
You are allowed to get married from the age of 18.
Sometimes you are allowed to get married from the age of 16:
But then your partner must be older than 18.
And the family court must agree.

You are only allowed to marry one person.
Multiple marriages are not permitted in Germany.

You are allowed to end your marriage at any time if you are unhappy.
That is called divorce.
You can find more information on this website: http://www.zanzu.de/de/scheidung-0

You are not allowed to marry anyone in your own family.
Even cousins do not marry cousins in Germany.
Children from these marriages can get hereditary diseases.
So it is not a good idea to marry your own relatives.

You do not have to get married!
You can get help if someone wants to force you.

The other option is:
You can get married by means of a religious ritual.
There are many different marriage rituals.
But in Germany these are not official according to the law.

My boyfriend (15) and I (15) love each other very much. He wants to have sex with me. Do I have to have sex with him so that he doesn’t leave me?

It’s great that you both like each other so much.
Now your boyfriend wants to have sex with you.
He would like to touch your body and have an orgasm with you.
That is ok.

But you don’t want to.
That is completely ok.
Two people who like each other don’t always want the same things.

Tell him that you love him.
But you still don’t want to have sex with him.
He might be disappointed and think that you don’t love him.
Make it clear to him that you still need more time.

Sex is fun when both people want it.
But it is not good to have sex only because someone else wants it.

He might wait until you want to have sex too.
He might try to persuade you.
He might even leave you.
But sex does not guarantee that he will stay with you forever.

So it is important that you look out for YOURSELF.
It is important to know what YOU want and what is good for YOU.