With most colleges and university beginning their fall semester, it is important for all students to remember that if you are having sex, you are at risk for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). As a college student, you are not required to take a mandatory class on sexual health and if you previously attended a private institution, you might not have received any sexual health information at all. When students with little sexual health education enter college with parties full of alcohol and drugs, it is crucial that there are sexual health resources on campus to educate students with and without sexual health knowledge. In order to keep yourself in balance, maintaining your sexual health is just as important as keeping your mental and physical health in check.
Condoms are the easiest way to be sexually active and prevent STIs. Many colleges and universities offer free male and female condoms in campus health and around campus. If you are struggling to find access, it is smart to check with your university’s campus health because you don’t want to risk the spread of STIs. Another tip is to carry a few extra condoms with you. It is much better to be prepared than to take that risk, even once. Also, it is very important to remember that you cannot tell whether the person(s) that you are being sexually active with has an STI on the surface. Your eyes do not have the power of today’s microscopes, which are used in diagnosing STIs (if they do, go tell your news stations, you are about to be a legend).
Condoms and knowing the implications of drugs and alcohol are very important in preventing sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Alcohol is a leading drug in rape, so having proper information available to all students is imperative.
However, it is important to remember that it is very possible to be sexual without having sex, and there are ways to still have fun, feel sexy, and not be carrying a condom. Stay tuned for #humpwednesday to read more about communication games and sexting.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings, Yourself, and the Resources Available To You
The first few weeks of school have an increased number of parties as people settle back into the semester. Drinking high amounts and using drugs can lead to lack of clarity. Be careful making decisions when you have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Along with your surroundings, you need to be aware of yourself. Know what you want because there is nothing you have to do. Your partner(s) should respect the consent and limits you set. It is important to communicate in order to have the best experience for yourself. Being on the same page can prevent uneasiness, STIs, and awkwardness.
College campuses’ campus health units need to be an open facility for students to know they can gain information and knowledge as well as get tested and advised on STIs. At a university’s’ campus health building students should be able to get male and female condoms and birth control in addition to information on STIs and how to prevent them. In addition to STI information, there should also be information available on sexual assault.
While birth control does prevent pregnancy, it does not protect against STIs, so it is still imperative to continue using condoms even while your partner uses birth control. In addition, getting tested is key. Currently, you will have to go to the school clinic, a clinic off campus, or submit a test in the mail and wait for the STI results.
One of the first things you should do when getting to campus is familiarize yourself with the resources on your campus. Are there free condoms? Is there free access to birth control? Is there access to STI tests? Is there access to sexual assault information? Are there informational pamphlets on sex and STIs? These are all very important when beginning your new or continuing experience at university. If the answer is no to any of these questions there are resources for finding clinics near you. Clinics are a great option that can provide these resources if your university does not.
Stay Up to Date with Sex+
Make sure to stay up to date for the leading information regarding all things sex with Sex+, a startup working to make at home STI tests that will let everyone test and find out the results in the comfort of their home. Check out our website!