April is Sexually Transmitted Diseases Month. According to the CDC, 20 million new cases of STDs occur every year. Half of those, 10 million cases will be in youth.
While researching this list, I realized that there are several novels about AIDS, but very few about teens and other STDs, even though the other ones are more common in youth.
My Life After Now by Jessica Verdi. Lucy had everything, she had a plan. But when everything falls apart, she decides to be break out of her plan. But there are consequences, and now she's HIV positive and she can't go back to the old plan.
This Thing Called the Future by J.L. Powers. In the shanty town of Pietermaritzburg in South Africa, Khosi lives with her grandmother and her brother and goes to school. Her mother's dying of some disease. Khosi wants to go for a doctor, but she has to stay in school.
Chanda's Secrets by Allan Stratton. Chandra's family has moved and been torn apart. Her father was killed in a diamond mine and her various step-fathers have their own issues. Chandra has to leave school to take care of her younger siblings and it becomes obvious that their mother has AIDS. Does Chandra have it too? Do her siblings? Read the sequel with Chanda's Wars.
Seductive Delusions: How Everyday People Catch STDs by Jill Grimes. Focusing on the stories of young adults and teens, Dr. Grimes discusses several common STDs. She talks to women and men, people all over the spectrum and discusses both physical and emotional experiences.
Sex: A Book for Teens: An Uncensored Guide to Your Body, Sex, and Safety by Nikol Hasler. This is a no holds barred and hilarious look at the realities of sex and teenagers from the host of the Midwest Sex Show.
S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-To-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and College by Heather Corinna. This is a comprehensive book about bodies and sex and all that comes with it. It answers all teen questions, and then some.
Rainbow Party by Paul Ruditis. This was a scandal-of-the-week book when it came out. After hearing about rainbow parties on an afternoon talk show, Gin thinks it sounds fun. Covering a handful of teenagers the afternoon of the party, the book, and the ending, are not what the scandal makes it out to be. (Also-- it's a bit of a spoiler that it's on this list.)
Peeps by Scott Westerfeld. When Cal lost his virginity, he caught the vampire parasite and has since passed it on to his subsequent girlfriends. He didn't become a vampire, but they did and now he has to track them down. And kill them. Don't miss the companion novel, The Last Days.
Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) by Sarah Mlynowski. A few little, white lies get bigger and bigger when April moves in with her friend Vi (but Vi's parents aren't there.) There's a lot of crazy things that happen, but consequence-free sex isn't one of them.
What books am I missing, especially about STDs that aren't AIDs? What are your favorite nonfiction titles about sexual health for teens?
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