Valentine’s Day is creeping up on us and love is in the air, so let’s talk about sex. More specifically, let’s talk about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in four college students has an STD and one in five college students has genital herpes. The goal is to keep Capital below average in this regard.
To be blunt, STDs are not fun, and no sex (no matter how good) is worth HIV. So here are the best ways to avoid them.
This is an obvious answer now, but in the heat of the moment it may not be. In fact, according to the CDC, only 54 percent of students use condoms regularly during sex.
If you or your partner are on birth control, it will do that and only that — you are still vulnerable to STDs. And although condoms are not 100% protective, they greatly reduce the risk of acquiring an STD.
Talk With Your Partner(s)
Nothing kills the mood quite like asking if they’ve recently been tested before things get hot and heavy, but it’s really important to get everything out into the open. Honesty is key, and you should tell him or her if you’re infected the same way that you would want them to tell you if they were infected.
HPV and hepatitis B can both be prevented with a simple vaccinations. Needles can be scary, but genital warts are probably worse.
Get Tested Once a Year
Out of everyone with an STD, 80 percent show no symptoms; they often don’t get tested because everything seems okay. Imagine not even knowing you have an STD.
Due to the high sexual activity of college students, frequent testing is recommended. The better you know your own health, the more accurately you can handle your sticky situations and handle things like a responsible adult.
Capital’s Health and Wellness Center is able to perform on-site testing for a variety of sexually transmitted infections (and pregnancy) at a nominal fee that will be charged to your student account. Walk-in hours are 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Students may also call and schedule an appointment at 614-236-6114.
STORY UPDATED FEBRUARY 1, 2018, 4:04 P.M.:
For STD testing at Capital’s Health and Wellness Center, students must schedule an appointment with a nurse practitioner. The cost for the test will then be billed to the student’s insurance, not to their student account.