USI talks about sex

Logan Hursh

Sex. The word itself can cause some to blush and giggle, but there is increasing concern that this topic be discussed.

Here are the facts: one in four college students have a sexually transmitted disease.

Eighty percent of people who have STDs do not show symptoms, and 50 percent of college-aged people will contract an STD.

In collaboration with H.E.A.R, Spectrum, the Black Student Union, and the Activities Programming Board, USI hosted a “Let’s Talk About Sex” seminar Tuesday evening in Carter Hall to draw attention to these realities.

The event was part of Know Your Status week, which aims to increase awareness about the spread of HIV and STDs within the student body and the precautionary measures necessary for prevention.

The seminar drew a modest-sized crowd but the audience was actively participating and engaged in topics discussed.

Guest speaker Christine Tolis, assistant program director of student wellness for the Recreation and Fitness Center, discussed a wide range of topics topics such as proper use of condoms and dental dams.

“The seminar was very informative and entertaining,” said Tara, a social work major who wished to be identified by first name only.

“They mentioned that women are really susceptible to STDs and I don’t think that girls really know that,” she said.

“It definitely was informative and interesting when they talked about their own personal experiences,” said Mark Boettcher, an international studies major.

“That made it a lot more personal and real to me.”

Know Your Status week will continue with guest speaker Hydeia Broadbent, who will present on the effects of HIV on the new generations on Thursday at a free event in Carter Hall beginning at 7 p.m.

Free HIV testing will be offered on Friday in the Student Health Center in the lower level of the Health Professions building.

Students are encouraged to take advantage of the free test and to learn more about what they can do to reduce their risk of contracting HIV and STDs.