By Rikki Yanez
Blog Content Contributor
College is a good time for students whether it’s gaining all sorts of knowledge that will prepare them for their future career, or exploring their sexuality. Not all people in college are sexually active. However, the majority of students in college that are in relationships or participating in the hookup culture are. People who are sexually active are taking contraceptives such as birth control or condoms, and if they aren’t, they might want to keep reading. What most people don’t understand is being on contraceptives, such as birth control, doesn’t protect people from sexually transmitted diseases or infections. If you are someone who is in a relationship or participating in the hookup culture, it’s best to inform yourself on the topic of STDs and STIs, and talk to your partners before being intimate.
In most cases, people first learn about sex education in elementary, middle school, by parents or, in today’s society, on online websites like Planned Parenthood. However, in high school and college, sex education isn’t taught because it’s already assumed we know what could happen when having unprotected sex. Let’s be clear: everyone knows having unprotected sex can lead to pregnancy, yet what people don’t understand is they could be putting themselves at risk when having unprotected sex.
Some consequences of having unprotected sex are pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases (STD) such as AIDs, Syphilis, and Human papillomavirus (HPV). You can also contract genital herpes or warts, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea to name a few. In order to avoid this from happening, some things women can do is to talk to your doctor about getting on birth control, which will prevent pregnancy. Another thing women can do is to have a pack of condoms on you, just in case your partner might not have one when the time comes. Since there is no form of male birth control, it’s best for males to use a condom all the time. If one is infected all it takes is skin-to-skin contact in the infected area, even if one uses a condom, so be sure to talk to your partners and get check ups annually. Sexually active homosexual people should get tested every year and active homosexual men should get tested every three to six months according to Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.
Most people don’t take STDs and STIs seriously until it happens to them. In the United States, about 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year, and half come from people from the age of 15-24. Some reasons why you should take precaution if you are sexually active is because some of these infections, if not treated, can lead to infecting other people, could be permanent and, in some cases, affect women’s fertility. Your sexual health should be held as a high priority like you would do with your physical and mental health.
Texas State University offers screenings at the Student Health Center on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are also open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Student Health Center also accepts insurance, and for those without insurance, the test run at low costs. They also provide information about the different types of services they offer as well as what birth control they offer. Their meetings are confidential to ensure the comfort of their patients.
Featured photo by Rikki Yanez.