Today: Jun 19, 2024

Program aims to raise awareness of STIs

Before anyone thinks about jumping in the sheets with another someone, they should be aware of the precautions of having sex. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, one in four college students are infected with a sexually transmitted infection.
“It’s important to spread the facts about safe sex because many students do not know the real consequences of contracting an STI, nor do they know that they can be infected and spreading it without any symptoms,” said Katrina Parke, senior public health major.
Parke and her classmates in the Program Planning Class informed students important facts about sex, condoms and the consequences of unprotected sex.
“It was a good program and had a lot of useful information that I didn’t know about,” said Kiara Goodwin, freshman athletic training major.
At the beginning of the program, pretests were handed out asking multiple choice questions about sex and feelings towards STI testing. After the presentation the same test was handed out again to see if anyone had learned anything new from the program.
“In the beginning, I didn’t know all of the answers to the questions, but by the end I did,” said Goodwin.
The majority of the program included the different types of STIs, their symptoms, treatments and the results of infections left untreated.
Parke said young people ages 15-21 have the highest rate for sexually transmitted diseases.
“I think college students have a skewed view of STIs and that people who have them are dirty, or have slept around,” said Parke. “It is very important to get tested regularly to catch them early before they lead to other health issues.”
If STIs are left untreated, there are major consequences women can face. If chlamydia and gonorrhea are not treated or if a woman is infected multiple times, there is a risk of serious reproductive health complications, including infertility, according to the CDC.
“One in three people lie saying they don’t have any sexual transmitted diseases,” said Jessica Jones, junior public health major.
“I think it’s good to promote safe sex because it will help stop transmission of diseases; more people will get tested once they find out the true facts,” said Jones.
Chlamydia, gonorrhea and the human papillomavirus, also known as HPV, are the most common STIs among college students.
At the program, Parke and Jones demonstrated how to put a condom on properly and then encouraged two volunteers to try it themselves to see if they really knew how to do it.
“It was an interesting part of the program and it was just another informative part of it,” said Karisa Levassuer, sophomore nursing major.
Aside from college students, high school students as well as adults can learn from this program, said Jones.
“A lot of students and adults go around having sex and pass around diseases without even knowing and it’s important to be healthy. We should definitely be aware of this stuff,” said Goodwin.
According to the CDC, 75 percent of women don’t know that they are infected.
“From this program I am more conscience about the responsibilities of sex and are more open to getting tested and asking a guy if he has been tested,” said Levassuer.

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