Your nose crinkles, you look away, and along with your down- there body part, your face burns a fire red. STDs, oh what a turnoff.
Let’s talk about sex baby, let’s talk about you and me, let’s talk about all the infections you can give to me, let’s talk about sex. Before I begin, you need to take that disgusted look off your face. It’s STDs. I know it’s uncomfortable to speak about but come on readers, let’s be adults here. STDs, or most recently known as the new hip term STI’s (sexually transmitted infections), are an ongoing embarrassing topic among college students today, and frankly most students don’t know much about them. They hear what they want and listen to the myths and believe that if you sit on a toilet seat, you magically have gonorrhea.
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“It’s gross to speak of and is only a problem if people make it a problem by not practicing safe sex,” KSC sophomore Joe Senecal said.
Let’s face it, our school is small. I am not accusing any of you of anything but let me be blunt here; there are only so many people to choose from when we are all crammed in this small college town. Being informed before we decide to participate in anything between the sheets is important.
Recently our generation has sadly become known as “Generation Sex,” a phrase that is continuously growing along with the STI rates throughout college campuses.
So here is the naked truth…
Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and genital herpes are the most commonly known infections among the STI family, but how much do people really know? As college students we are amongst the direct age group where STIs are the most frequent, and for obvious reasons. “I’ve always heard of Chlamydia as the common cold of STDs, but everyone is just too scared to talk about them, so they don’t,” senior Marcy Calovich said.
Mentioned before was a myth that I honestly hope no one believed. If so, go back to ninth grade and actually listen during sex-ed.
“STDs stay in Vegas like everything else,” Senecal joked.
There are other myths, however, that are more believable and people dwell on as true. But with taking this type of information into account, they are the biggest targets of them all for acquiring a STI.
Myth 1: Only “trashy” people get STIs. If this was true, we would all be safe, right? Unfortunately, no one is in the clear with this one: rich people, poor people, athletes, band members, sororities, fraternities, skateboarders, etc. are all at risk, STIs do not discriminate.
Myth 2: If your partner has a STI, you’ll see it. If only that were true it would definitely help in decreasing the transmitting process. There is often no sign that a person has a STI; it is possible to carry and further spread the virus without ever having an outbreak. Even doctors sometimes cannot catch them with the look of their eye. On that note, please, please, if you are having sex, get tested!
Myth 3: Once you’ve had a STI, there’s no chance of getting it again. Some STIs stick with individuals for their entire life, others, however, can be treated, but that does not mean one cannot become infected again. “HIV and Herpes stays with you forever but for others, our body has the ability to clear them over time. But yes, that is a total myth, your body does not create an abstinence for any STIs,” Director of the Center for Health and Wellness, Christine Burke said.
If you are sexually active you need to get tested; no ifs, ands, or buts. I do not want to hear it! The Center for Health and Wellness is a great resource where students can speak with providers and have the option to get tested for any STI. “We are not your mom, we are not here to judge, we’re here to educate and encourage [you] to make healthy choices,” Burke said.
The myth of needing a ‘simple’ swab sample from a man’s urethra tube for testing has tricked and kept men far away from the entire process.
“Most students are surprised to find out that Chlamydia is a simple urine test; all you need is pee. And that we currently offer free HIV testing through a quick and easy simple swab test called OraQuick,” Coordinator of Wellness Education, Tiffany Mathews said.
A chlamydia and gonorrhea test is only $30 at the center and can save you from an even greater problem in the future.
“It is routine to get tested once a year, but it all depends on how much sex you are having and how many partners. It is all assessed on your behavior,” Burke said.
So to wrap it up (no pun intended), what happens in Keene most certainly does not stay in Keene, so you should get tested.
For more information on pricing and to learn more about STIs, visit the Health and Wellness website www.keene.edu/chw, or go speak with a Planned Parenthood associate right here in Keene.
Amanda Crisafi can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org