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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Students safety-minded about sex

    Not everyone in college is having sex. Data released from Campus Health states that approximately half of first year students, and around one-third of all students, haven’t had vaginal sex.

    If you do plan on having sex, there are some basic facts to know before starting.

    “”If you have a penis, or are having sex with a penis, put a condom on,”” said Lee Ann M. Hamilton, assistant director of health promotion and preventative services.

    Of those who have sex at the UA, approximately 70 percent always or usually wear a condom, Campus Health officials said.

    Freshman last year bested that with 80 percent of sexually active first years wearing a condom always or usually, so keep it up-wrapped up.

    Pregnancy can occur even if it’s the first time, in water, or utilizing the technique of “”pulling out.””

    “”College students are at a super fertile time in their life span,””

    Hamilton said. “”Always assume you can get pregnant. First time, tenth time, in a Jacuzzi, in the ocean, whatever.””

    If you aren’t abstaining from sex all together, there are many different types of contraception for students to use today. Women can use hormonal methods such as implanon (implant in your arm), depo-provera (the shot), NuvaRing (inserted vaginal ring) or the Pill.

    These methods are highly effective for preventing pregnancy, but don’t protect either party from sexually transmitted diseases. Wearing a condom and using hormonal contraception reduces the risk of pregnancy and STDs. All forms of birth control and contraception are available at Campus Health and can be charged to your Bursar’s Account.

    Condoms are a two-in-one tool for sex – prevents pregnancy and protects from STDs. But wearing a condom is not 100 perfectly effective at preventing exposure to STDs. A few STDs, HPV (genital warts), molluscum contagiosum and herpes, are simply skin-to-skin transferable.

    “”If you get naked with someone and expose your bare skin to their body parts or fluids, there’s a possibility of transmitting or getting a disease,”” Hamilton said. “”You don’t have to have intercourse to get an STD, and being a virgin does not protect you from STD.””

    The three most common STDs at the UA are genital herpes, Chlamydia and HPV.

    Genital herpes, an incurable disease, can appear as sores around the mouth or genitals, or have no signs at all. According to the data released by Campus Health, almost 20 percent of the cases on campus probably originated from sores on the mouth.

    If you are infected with Chlamydia, as a man, you will have a burning sensation when you urinate, and there may be a discharge from your penis. In women, there can be abdominal or pelvic pain, irregular menstruation and nausea once infected. But there may also be no signs for women until Pelvis Inflammatory Disease (PID) develops.

    This STD can be cured but can have lasting side effects on your body. Men can have infection of genitourinary tract and women can have PID, ectopic (tubal) pregnancy and even infertility.

    HPV (human papillomavirus) is the most common sexually transmitted infection. It’s estimated that 75-80 percent of sexually active adults are infected with genital HPV over their lifetime and 1 in 4 people ages 15-24 are infected with HPV. HPV has no cure and can develop into genital warts or cervical cancer, if your body cannot fight the infection.

    Campus health is available for all student health concerns, including STD information and screenings.

    UA students are eligible to be seen at the Campus Health Service if they are registered for one or more credit hours on campus and insurance is not required to receive services.

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