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An international team of researchers has brought millions of vulnerable women closer to a potentially powerful weapon against HI

Because most HIV infections are transmitted across mucosal surfaces -- the vagina and the rectum particularly -- scientists have been concentrating on microbicides to prevent transmission. The research has intensified in recent years because of promising theories like the one behind PSC-RANTES and the lack of a viable vaccine.

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M.I.A or, Dude, Where's My Period?

We get a lot of questions at Scarleteen from folks who are worried about periods that are MIA (missing in action, for us civilians). Sometimes there's a pregnancy concern, and sometimes not; but even if you're not sexually active, a missing period can be worrying.

To Jane & Sarah for Their 30th Birthday

Enough people don't talk about abortion. Too many people don't listen to those who do. I'm not talking about conceptually or hypothetically. I'm not talking about discussing this woman or that who you knew that aborted or did not. I'm talking about talking about abortion; intimately, personally. In public, not in secrecy.

Eight Myths About Washable Menstrual Pads Dispelled

After a few years of being the postergirl for alternative approaches to menstruation – writing articles, being interviewed, doing workshops, selling washable pads to women and getting involved in too many party conversations on the topic to possibly count – something is starting to give. The truth is, I’m starting to get a little bit tired of being nice. I’ve lost my patience with trying to pussyfoot around the issue until women are willing to talk about their own blood. And so, as a form of cleansing for me and education for you – should you choose to engage in it – I have penned the following set of arguments dispelling the myths about washable menstrual pads and your period. So there.

Honorably Discharged: A Guide to Vaginal Secretions

Vaginal discharge and secretions are normal and usually healthy. The vagina is a passageway between the outside of the body and the internal reproductive system. Vaginal secretions are how the vagina cleanses and regulates itself -- how amazing is that? -- in the same sort of way that saliva helps keep your mouth clean and healthy and part of the fertility cycle.

Life Lessons from the Third Stall on the Left

Everything I needed to know about body image I learned in a bathroom in the seventh grade. Well, almost everything.

The STI Files: Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

HIV is a virus that destroys the immune system and thus weakens the body's ability to fight disease and infection, even common infections like flus and colds. HIV usually progresses to AIDS. This makes HIV the most dangerous sexually transmitted infection today. It is the fifth leading cause of death for the young under 40 in the United States. At this time, no one has been cured of HIV or AIDS.

It's More Than Just a Pound of Flesh

I remember when I was seventeen, I tried on some new ideas. One of my ideas was that notions of "right" and "wrong" were false creations of society, and did not actually exist. Yeah, it didn't make much sense back then, either.

Magical Cups & Bloody Brides: Virginity in Context

The more common meaning and implication of the term came to change around the 13th century and derived a sexual, sexist and moralistic meaning. With that change, the word now implied that staying a virgin until marriage guaranteed that a woman would uphold the family honor by passing from father to husband as an object that was owned -- her virginity, her own body, was a thing of value that would be owned by her father, until such time as ownership of her virginity, body and sexuality would be transferred to her husband.

Sexual Response & Orgasm: A Users Guide

There are certain physical, hormonal and psychological mechanics that come into play when it comes to human sexual response, and understanding those is essential to lay the foundation for understanding how sex works for ourselves and for our partners. Once we understand how our bodies work when it comes to sexual response, we've won half the battle of learning how to enjoy that and incorporate it as a healthy part of our lives, both alone and with others.

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.