Don’t pass it along! Healthy Huskies on preventing sexually transmitted infections

Natalie Wittman, Healthy Husky Columnist

As young adults, sexual health starts to become an important topic in our lives.

We are known as one of the main targets of STI’s (sexually transmitted infections), so it is imperative to understand how to take care of your sexual health for yourself and the health of others you may come in contact with. The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Infection) provides some tips on how to stay healthy.

The first tip is abstinence. Abstinence is refraining from any type of sex, and it is the best way to ensure that you will not contract an STI.
The second is to get vaccinated. The most common STI, human papillomavirus (HPV), can be vaccinated against.

Make sure you set up an appointment with your doctor if you have not already to discuss protecting yourself.
Using condoms can also help reduce your risk of contracting an STI, but it is not always effective. Some STI’s are transmitted by skin to skin contact that may not be covered by a condom.

 It is also important to take into consideration how many partners you have or have had in the past year. To protect yourself, you may want to limit the number of partners you have. The more partners you have, the more likely you are to be exposed to an STI. It might also be a good idea to practice monogamy. Monogamy is being with one person. If practicing monogamy, you may feel more comfortable having a conversation around sexual health with your partner.

With that being said, having you and your partner get tested also plays a key role in the prevention of STI’s. Fortunately, we offer free STI clinics on campus a couple times during the semester. The next available clinic is Friday, March 1st from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student Health Center.

For more information on sexual health and other health topics that affect students, please contact Kristi Hammaker, Health Educator, at [email protected] Also, keep your eyes out for the Husky PAWS on Wellness Wednesdays as they cover a different health topic each week!