Keep calm and always use protection
Condoms: Something every sexually active college student should be using, but multiple studies show fewer and fewer students actually are. If students are using condoms, their main concern seems to be preventing pregnancy, not protecting themselves against STDs/STIs.
An article from Time in 2013, “(No) Condom Culture: Why Teens Aren’t Practicing Safe Sex,” touched on the most prevalent studies relating to condom use and their decline, as well as potential causes for the decline.
The most telling study comes from the Sex Information and Education Council of Canada, where they discovered that a whopping 50 percent of college students are not using condoms. Additionally, some teens and young adults may use condoms the first time they have sex, but not after that.
Why would fellow college students and young people not practice safe sex when STIs are rising in Americans aged 15-24, especially gonorrhea and chlamydia? More specifically for college students, people in their early 20s have the most cases of syphilis and HIV. Unfortunately, syphilis isn’t ancient history and neither is HIV.
What has changed since the 1990s in terms of safe sex promotion and education? Some think the fear of STDs/STIs has gone away, since there are no longer young people dying from HIV like they used to.
One concern is the lack of condoms readily available to young adults. Some colleges provide condoms and other means for sexual health of college students, while others don’t offer condoms because it goes against the religious base of the institution.
There is also the pervasive belief in society that wearing a condom affects sensation. Whether that is a real concern or not, there are many thinner options that can help reduce that stigma. Bill Gates has also challenged condom producers to make slimmer condoms to eliminate that exact concern.
This raises the question of safe sex — or not so safe sex — practices at Pacific. The Cowell Wellness Center always provides free condoms to Pacific students. They also offer birth control of multiple kinds, exams, pap tests and STI screenings, as well as evaluations and treatments of STIs.
Pacific offers a great deal of benefits to their students, but there are still going to be students not taking advantage of the resources. As college students we need to be aware that the only concern when having sex isn’t just avoiding pregnancy, it is also avoiding STIs of any kind.
There are a plethora of snappy condom slogans to choose from, but in any case, as educated young adults we should be taking the steps to protect ourselves and use condoms every time.
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