Sue Scheff: Teen Sex - Learn the risks - Be Smart

Yikes, this is one of the most difficult and sensitive subjects parents dread to talk to their kids about, but it is also just as critical.

Whether you believe your teen is having sex or not, the conversation is important. Your teen will rely on his/her peers to help educate them if you don't.

MTV's - "It's Your Sex Life" helps teach your teens about safe sex, protection, if you are ready for this big step, as well as the risks of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases (STD). In Broward County, there are places your teens can get tested for STD's. If you are not in Florida, find your local center, click here.

If you are a teenager, don't wait for your partner or your health care provider to start the conversation, take charge. After all, this Is YOUR (Sex) Life. By talking about sex (that includes what you feel ready, or not, to do) you are showing that you care about yourself and your partner, and that your are in control.

It's YOUR (Sex) Life and that means you decide when you are ready-and when to wait to have sex. But you have to communicate how you are feeling to your partner. Otherwise how can they know what you are thinking? Check out these tips to help you talk with your partner about waiting to have sex.

Protect yourself! Everyone knows about protection, but how many think that it can't happen to them? They are immune to STD's, they can't get pregnant that one time, etc. Stop, think twice - it can happen and will happen if you don't take steps to protect yourself.

Yes, it is your teens' sex life, but it is still your child. Open the door of communication, talk to your teens. Read websites such as It's Your Sex Life for resources and information to help educate yourself and today's teens.

It's Your (Sex) Life, an ongoing partnership of MTV and the Kaiser Family Foundation to help young people make responsible decisions about their sexual health, is working with Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other partners nationwide to bring you the GYT: Get Yourself Tested campaign and Get Yourself Talking.

Being an educated parent can help you to have safer and healthier teens.

Read more and watch video.

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