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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Know your status, Campus Health gives tips on having a healthy sex life

While a majority of the UA population admits to using condoms during sex—about 68 percent, according to last year’s UA Campus Health and Wellness survey—a great portion does partake in doing the deed without protection. With many involved in some intimate contact with others, infections are a common occurrence on campus.

Sexually transmitted infections are transmitted via sexual contact. The easiest way to determine whether UA students were aware of these issues was to ask around.

Last year, Campus Health Service conducted a survey chronicling the sex lives of students on campus. The study found the three types of infections that are most common on campus, Human Papilloma Virus, chlamydia and genital herpes.

Each infection is different and can manifest itself in varying ways depending on the person. One person may experience symptoms, while another may be completely asymptomatic.

Regarding the population that is not using protection during sex, Simon Daniels, a freshman studying public management and policy, said that he is worried about the health of the university.

“I was surprised that many of the friends I made here at the UA were having unprotected sex and not being checked regularly; it scares me,” Daniels said.

Many people, students included, are unaware that by not knowing their status, they are potentially harming not only themselves, but others as well.

A junior majoring in literacy, learning and leadership shares her story about how she contracted an STI and the role peer pressure played in her actions and diagnosis.

“I was at a party and had one too many drinks and was peer pressured into having unprotected sex with a guy,” she said.

The student mentioned that after about a week and a half of indecisiveness, she contacted Campus Health and scheduled an appointment. After her appointment, the student found that she had contracted chlamydia.

“My hope is that by sharing this it may shed some light on how students should be tested and not be peer pressured into having unprotected sex,” she said.

Marianne Weeks, a nurse practitioner at Campus Health, said that it is important for students to get routine check-ups on their status, or sexual health.

“Not many students are aware of their status and should be checked routinely,” Weeks said.

The following are ways to reduce the risks of being infected, according to Campus Health:

  • Limit the number of sexual partners you engage with, each additional partner is an increase in the chance of acquiring an STI.
  • Contraception: while condoms do not provide 100 percent protection, they are the most effective in preventing infection.
  • Avoid the use of alcohol or drugs as having a substantial amount of alcohol or drugs in your system can impair your judgment and cause you to do something risky, such as not using protection or engaging with someone you just met.
  • Know your body: if something is out of place or out of the ordinary then get yourself checked out. Anything from pain and redness to itching and sores can be signs of an infection.
  • Get tested on a regular basis.
  • Christopher Anderson, a mathematics sophomore, relays his diligence in getting tested, and breaks down the stigma behind STI testing.

    “There is nothing wrong with being tested, I get tested at least once a month if not more,” Anderson said.

    Campus Health offers completely confidential STI screening for all students. If you have any questions or concerns about these infections, or want to be tested, contact Campus Health at 520-621-4967.

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