Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Healthy Teen Dating

Healthy dating relationships should start with the same things that healthy friendships start with: good communication, honesty, respect and trust. Dating relationships are a little different because they may include physical ways of showing you care, like hugging, kissing, or holding hands. You may find yourself wanting to spend all of your time with your crush, but it is important to spend some time apart, too. This will let you have a healthy relationship with your crush and with your friends and family at the same time.  Healthy relationships make you feel good about who YOU are and SAFE with the other person. Feel good about yourself and get to know what makes you happy. The more you love yourself, the easier it will be to find healthy relationships.

Types of Abuse
·         Physical: Any forceful act that harms a person’s body.
·         Sexual: To make another person do an unwanted sexual act by force or threat.
·         Verbal & Emotional:  Anything said or done that causes fear, lower self-esteem or                                manipulates you to control your behavior.

Cycles of Abuse
·         Tension building: growing tension and anger-like a time bomb.
·         Explosion: violence, sexual assault, physical abuse.
·         Honeymoon: abuser seems sorry, promise to never let it happen again, offers gifts.

Love is NOT Abuse 

Monday, December 17, 2012

What is AIDS?

A- Acquired: AIDS is not something you inherit from your parents. You get AIDS after birth.

I– Immune: Your body’s immune system includes all the organs and cells that work to fight off infection or disease.

D– Deficiency: You get AIDS when your immune system is low, or isn’t working the way it should.

S– Syndrome: A syndrome is a collection of symptoms and signs of disease. AIDS is a syndrome, rather than a single disease, because it is a different kind of illness with a complications and symptoms.

AIDS have one or more specific opportunistic infections, certain cancers, or a very low number of CD4 cells. If you have AIDS, you will need medical help and treatment to prevent death.

Source from National HIV/AIDS Strategy

Guam’s AIDS hotline is (671) 734-AIDS (2437) for more information and assistance.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Common ways HIV is transferred:

  • Having intimate physical contact with someone who is HIV positive.
  • Sharing needles or injection with users who are HIV positive.
  • From HIV positive women to their babies.
  • Bodily fluids.
HIV also can be transmitted through transfusion of infected blood or blood clotting factors.  However, since 1985, all donated blood in the United States have been tested for HIV. The risk of infection through transfusion of blood or blood products is extremely low-but if you have risk factors for HIV, you should avoid donating blood.  It is important to remember that you should not donate blood for the purpose of getting tested for HIV.

Guam's AIDS hotline is (671) 734-AIDS (2437) for more information and assistance.

Monday, December 03, 2012

What is HIV?

H- Human: This particular virus infects human beings.

I- Immunodeficiency: HIV weakens your immune system by destroying cells that fight disease and infection.

V- Virus: A virus can only reproduce itself by taking over a cell in the body it has infected.

HIV is a lot like other viruses, including those that cause the “flu” or the common cold.  But there  is an important difference, over time, your immune system can clear most viruses out of your body.  That isn’t the case with HIV.  You can’t seem to get rid of it.  Scientists are still trying to figure out why.

HIV can hide for long periods of time in the cells of your body and that it attacks a key part of your immune system—T-cells or CD4 cells.  Your body has to have these cells to fight infections and disease, but HIV takes over, uses them to make more copies of itself, and then destroys them.

Overtime, HIV can destroy so many of your CD4 cells that your body can’t fight infections and diseases anymore.  When that happens, HIV infection can lead to AIDS

Health Disparities-HIV/AIDS
Despite prevention efforts, some groups of people are affected by HIV/AIDS, viral hepatitis, STDs, and TB more than other groups of people. The occurrence of these diseases at greater levels among certain population groups more than among others is often referred to as a health disparity. Differences may occur by gender, race or ethnicity, education, income, disability, geographic location and sexual orientation among others. Social determinants of health like poverty, unequal access to health care, lack of education, stigma, and racism are link to health disparities.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Take a Stand, You’re Stronger than You Think! - (

Here’s a an uplifting song by Sara Bareilles, entitled “King of Anything,” encouraging us to take a stand when we are being abused, made fun of, or controlled in any way. We each have our own voice and identity, and can made our own opinions. If your relationship is making you feel dependent, powerless, or worthless, walk away! No one has the right to make you less than you truly are. Your partner is not the “king of anything” – especially not with you.

King of Anything by Sara Bareilles

Keep drinking coffee
Stare me down across the table while I look outside
So many things I’d say if only I were able
But I just keep quiet and count the cars that pass by

You’ve got opinions, man
We’re all entitled to ‘em
But I never asked
So let me thank you for your time and try not to waste any more of mine
Get out of here fast

I hate to break it to you babe but I’m not drowning
There’s no one here to save

Who cares if you disagree
You are not me
Who made you king of anything
So you dare tell me who to be
Who died and made you king of anything

You sound so innocent, so full of good intent
You swear you know best
But you expect me to jump on board with you
Ride off into your delusional sunset

I’m not the one who’s lost with no direction
But you won’t ever see
You’re so busy makin’ maps
With my name on them in all caps
You got the talkin’ down just not the listening

And who cares if you disagree
You are not me
Who made you king of anything
So you dare tell me who to be
Who died and made you king of anything

All my life I’ve tried to make everybody happy while I just hurt and hide
Waiting for someone to tell me it’s my turn to decide

And who cares if you disagree
You are not me
Who made you king of anything
So you dare tell me who to be
Who died and made you king of anything
Let me hold your crown, babe

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Warning Signs - (

One in three teens is in an abusive relationship. That’s a pretty high number, considering that teen dating is so common and natural today. However, even if dating at 12 or 13 years old, it is considered normal these days, abuse is never acceptable, no matter what age you are.

Are you or anyone you know is in an abusive relationship? Here are 10 warning signs:

·        Does your partner put you down, insult you, or embarrass you, either when alone or in public?

·        Does your partner constantly check in on you, through texts or calls, or force you to check in with him/her?

·        Does your partner keep you from seeing your friends or family?

·        Does your partner read your texts, chats, or emails?

·        Does your partner control or tease the way you dress?

·        Does your partner show anger all the time?

·        Does your partner threaten to hurt you or your family, or even him/herself?

·        Do you feel unsafe with your partner?

·        Does your partner ever talk you into sexual acts?

·        Does your partner ever hit, pinch, push, bite, scratch, or choke you?

If you answered yes to any of these questions – or they seem to describe the relationship of someone you know – take action! Love is not abuse. Call (671) 477-5552 or the National Domestic Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) if you or anyone you know is suffering from an abusive relationship. Stop the cycle, end the violence, before it’s too late.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Did You Know? - (

According to the Guam Department of Public Health and Social Services, there has been a significant increase in cases regarding HIV and STDs on island. For example, the number of reported Chlamydia cases has increased by 19% between 2010 and 2011 (900 cases to 1071). Of this number, there were 6 cases in the 10-14 age group and 230 cases in the 15-19 age group. Guam cases of other STDS include:
  1. Gonorrhea - There was a slight decrease of 2% of the total reported Gonorrhea cases  from 98 cases in 2010 to 96 cases in 2011;
  2.  HIV - The number of new HIV infections from 2009 with 4 cases to 2011 with 6 cases, and  increase of 50%;
  3. AIDS - There was a significant increase of 200% of the total reported AIDS cases from 2 cases in 2009 to 6 cases in 2011;
  4. Syphilis - For syphilis cases, there was a increase of 136% of the total reported cases from 11 cases in 2010 to 26 cases in 2011;
  5. Herpes Simplex II - There was an increase of 50% of the total reported Herpes Simplex II cases from 20 cases in 2010 to 30 cases in 2011.

Welcome to the Guam Coalition Blog - (

Hafa Adai! The Guam Coalition Against Sexual Assault & Family Violence (GCASAFV) provides community education, outreach and training to address and prevent sexual assault and family violence. Through the GCASAFV Project STAR (Strengthening Teens Awareness & Resources), the GCASAFV is youth-driven, reaches out to youth to be peer advocates, and engages youth to reach out to other youth to promote positive attitudes and behaviors that are supportive of healthy and safe relationships.

NO MORE! Together we can

Disclaimer: This project is supported by the Office of Minority Health Resource Center (Health Information Campaign Award). Postings are those of the authors, the opinions expressed are those of the Coalition organizers and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding agency.