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STD's make you rethink sexual activity

Last time I checked, genital warts was not at the top of the “attractive attributes” list. But after about fifteen drinks, nobody seems to care.

It amazes me the lack of education people our age have when it comes to STDs. And while there are a million reasons for advocating abstinence, I’ll keep it to just that one. Many educational programs give us advice on how to avoid STDs, but there is really only one fool proof method to preventing them.

Case in point: Dr. Theresa Crenshaw, the past president of the American Association of Sex Educators, spoke at the National Conference on HIV and commented on the wisdom of putting your faith in a condom. She asked a conference of 800 sexologists if they had the opportunity to sleep with the person of their dreams, knowing that person was HIV-positive, would they trust a condom? Out of all 800 sexologists, only one was willing to chance it.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m not a sexologist. And if 799 out of 800 professionals are telling me to keep my pants on because condoms don’t work, I think I am going to go with how the majority rules on this one.

Now for the statistics we all try to ignore… And remember, genital warts, still aren’t in fashion, or at least not that I know of.

Each year, 24 million new people contract the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which includes genital warts. 1.3 million new gonorrhea cases are reported annually and 63% of all sexually transmitted disease cases are found in those 25 years of age and younger. Which means, most of us fall into that category. I wonder if congratulations are in order here?

Now granted, when caught up in the heat of the moment, most people aren’t going to run over to the campus health center and get screened for an STD. But maybe that is just the problem. No one wants to take the time to stop and actually think about what they are doing anymore. We live in a society where everything is about instant gratification. Let’s forget that it will itch, blister and pus later. And here’s the kicker, as the conference of sexologists testified to earlier, nothing is going to stop you from getting one. Condoms provide essentially no protection against HPV. Because of the connection to STDs, sex can be dangerous to your health when treating it like it is open season.

In essence, shouldn’t sex be viewed as a commodity where quality wins out over quantity? It’s simple: The more sexual partners you have, the more likely you are to end up with an STD.

Deirdre Lee Fitzgerald, PhD, who is an assistant professor of psychology at Eastern, even went as far as to say, “Promiscuity is one example of a class of high-risk behaviors. It is comparable to, and may coincide with, behaviors such as heavy drinking, gambling, and other thrill-seeking behaviors like driving too fast.”

Fitzgerald feels that the reasoning behind wanting many sexual partners is simple. It’s exciting and makes students look good in front of their peers. Also, it helps people from having to deal with other challenging emotional issues. So apparently, there are a million reasons to sleep around, but here’s one not to: Wouldn’t it be nice to save it for someone who is saving it for you? It might be old fashioned, but real love should not need the safety blanket of a doctor’s note.