Are You a High Risk College Student?
Written By Lexi Masek, 17 September, 2021
Life as we know it has changed a lot since the pandemic and as we start to settle back into more normal social interactions, we need to remember to stay safe.
Risky sexual behaviors can happen more frequently when intoxicated and being a college student puts individuals at a higher risk.
We are constantly reminded to refrain from having unprotected sex to prevent STI’s, but sometimes unprotected sex just happens. Fortunately, there are ways that you can help yourself, and others, stay safe during these interactions.
If you have had unprotected sex and are concerned about your health, we strongly encourage you visit an on-site rapid HIV testing provider. If you know or suspect your partner has a positive HIV status, it is also highly recommended you get PEP and PrEP.
PEP is an antiviral medication that can be taken after exposure to HIV within 72 hours.
PrEP is a similar medication, but is taken before sex.
Individuals, male and female, aged between 20-24 are at the highest risk of contracting other STIs, such as Gonorrhea and Chlamydia.
Chlamydia is the number one reported communicable disease and gonorrhea is the second. College aged individuals are at a higher risk of infection with Gonorrhea and Chlamydia. Although both of these STD’s can be treated with antibiotics, many people who have chlamydia or gonorrhea do not show symptoms.
Having unprotected sex can increase the spread of STI’s to many unsuspecting individuals, even those who are undiagnosed and show no symptoms. Getting tested frequently and using condoms can decrease the risk of infection.
Long term effects of untreated STIs can lead to:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
Other STD’s such as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), herpes simplex virus (HSV or herpes), hepatitis B, and HPV are currently incurable. Even though medications are available for these STD’s, they only help reduce some of the symptoms.
Practicing safe sex with condoms can decrease the risk of infection for STD’s being spread through sexual contact (semen, vaginal fluid, or blood).
College aged individuals are at higher risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections.
Using condoms can decrease the risks of STI’s and getting tested frequently can prevent the spread of STIs to other partners.
Practicing safe sex can keep our community healthier.