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Pavelko: Sexual health discussions are important at CSU

Pavelko%3A+Sexual+health+discussions+are+important+at+CSU
Collegian | Trin Bonner

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

With the flu, COVID-19 and an abundance of other diseases one can contract on a college campus, many students take precautions. Wearing masks, taking vitamins and eating healthy are all good ways to keep healthy during cold and flu season. 

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However, with all these different diseases, sometimes another aspect of health is overlooked: sexual health. 

Sexual health is often considered an awkward topic, but that does not diminish its importance. Statistics concerning sexual health in the younger population are alarming. More than 10 million of the 20 million new STD cases reported in 2020 were from people aged 15-24, according to 2021 survey statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The use of condoms has diminished among youth, and the majority have not been tested for sexually transmitted diseases.

With these numbers on the rise, it is important to note the resources Colorado State University provides to help students manage their sexual health. Your sexual health is just as important as your personal health, and the CSU Health Network wants to keep students as healthy as possible in every aspect.

Even more resources concerning sexual health can be found through the CSU Health Network peer education team Creating Respect, Educating Wellness (by and for) Students. CREWS is a team of dedicated students that educates others about topics including sexual health, alcohol consumption and cannabis so they can make informed decisions. CREWS does a variety of services around campus, including presentations on these topics and sexual health supply deliveries to student groups upon request. 

It is important to take care of your sexual health as a part of your personal health. Sophie Orsund, the sexual health coordinator for CREWS, teaches her peers about sexual health even though it is considered a taboo subject by many.

“It’s like, ‘Hey, I got my flu shot. Hey, I got my STD test,’” Orsund said. “It’s not an end-of-the-world thing.”

You should be aware of your sexual health not only for yourself but for your partners as well. Your sexual health does not only affect you; it also affects those you are having intercourse with. 

“You should be getting tested after every single sexual partner,” Orsund said. “Every time you’re switching between sexual partners, that’s a test.”

Even while in a monogamous relationship, it is still recommended that you get tested regularly for STDs, and students can get tested at the CSU Health and Medical Center on campus. Some STDs are extremely serious. Left untreated, they can cause loss of fertility and even issues with major organs. Being consistent in your testing can reduce the chance of having serious repercussions from STDs. 

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It is also important to note that STDs often do not present with symptoms. Without symptoms, people often assume they do not need to get tested. This means they are unwittingly a host for an STD and can pass it on to their other sexual partners. 

In addition to STD testing, the Health Network also provides free sexual health supplies, including a variety of condoms, dental dams and lube. These supplies play an important role in keeping yourself healthy while being sexually active.

Sexual health is an important part of physical health. Although it can sometimes be stigmatized, students need to be aware of how important it is in their life. Students can take advantage of numerous resources CSU has to help care for your sexual health.

“We want students to be thinking about (sexual health) the same way you’re thinking about your personal health,” Orsund said. “We want to help lead them to make safer choices.”

Reach Hana Pavelko at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @hanasolo13.

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About the Contributor
Trin Bonner
Trin Bonner, Illustration Director
Trin Bonner is the illustration director for The Collegian newspaper. This will be her third year in this position, and she loves being a part of the creative and amazing design team at The Collegian. As the illustration director, Bonner provides creative insight and ideas that bring the newspaper the best graphics and illustrations possible. She loves working with artists to develop fun and unique illustrations every week for the readers. Bonner is a fourth-year at Colorado State University studying electronic arts. She loves illustrating and comic making and has recently found enjoyment in experimental video, pottery and graphic design. Outside of illustration and electronic art, Bonner spends her free time crocheting and bead making. She is usually working on a blanket or making jewelry when she is not drawing, illustrating or brainstorming.

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