Sexual health is a central piece in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and plays a large role in college students’ lives. The HOPE (Healthy Outreach Through Peer Education) Peer Educators’ goal is to educate the students of Slippery Rock University on how to practice responsible sexual behaviors. Safer sex education is an integral part in an individual protecting themselves. It is also important in establishing healthy and open relationships with students and their partner(s).
Having open conversations with your partner(s) regarding sex allows all parties to be aware of each other’s comfort zones. Know what they are comfortable with. Limits can be set to make sex more enjoyable for each partner. Keeping an open conversation can improve the relationship and create a healthy sexual experience for all involved.
Different types of protection should be brought up in the conversation. If students choose to have sex, then condoms can reduce the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and is the only form of birth control that protects against STIs. Some examples of safer sex supplies include male condoms, female condoms, dental dams, water based lubricants and non-latex condoms. Each supply is different from the other, and each student needs to make the right choice for their body. The Protection Connection, located in the Health Center within Rhoads Hall, offers safer sex supplies including condoms, dental dams and lubricants at a reduced fee.
Students can also schedule appointments to discuss birth control options, so that they can make an educated decision when it comes to birth control. The HOPE Peer Educators and Student Health Services want to educate and empower students to take control of their sexual health and make the right choices for themselves. The Student Health Services (this includes the Protection Connection) is a confidential resource so students can feel safe and secure in purchasing safer sex supplies, or making appointments.
According to the American Sexual Health Association (ASHA) one in two sexually active individuals will contract an STI by the age of 25. Due to our location on a college campus where the majority of the students are under the age of 25, we want to give students as much education, protection and healthy sexual options as possible. The Student Health Service also offers STI testing, and according to past statistics, chlamydia is the most prevalent STI on SRU’s campus. STIs are a real problem that can directly affect students, and we want to give students the means to protect themselves. Like our motto says, “Abstinence is best, protection is next.”
For any concerns you may have about your health, you can go to Student Health Services in Rhoads Hall, open 24/7 during the academic year. Student Health Services can also be a resource if you have been a victim of sexual violence. The Women’s Center, Student Counseling Center, Student Intervention Services, Office of Student Conduct, University Police and the Title IX Coordinator are examples of other departments available on campus to provide support for victims of sexual violence (this includes stalking, harassment and other forms of violence). Contributed by HOPE.