By Dalton Tevlin
In 2016, the Center for Disease Control conducted a study that showed 52 percent of students aged 15-24 used condoms regularly.
Nicole Barreto, health editor in FIU’s Healthy Living department, described the main concern among young adults engaging in sexual activity.
“Lack of education and ignorance is one of the major issues when it comes to sexually active young adults,” said Barreto.
Many STDs and STIs do not show alarming symptoms to the carrier and they could very well be transmitting diseases if they aren’t being regularly checked.
“A lot of the time people don’t get signs or symptoms so they may be infecting people without even knowing that they have STDs or STIs,” said Barreto. “Some diseases do [have symptoms] and they can include: rash, sores, fever, nausea, headaches. A lot of people think they come down with the common flu and just turn it off.”
“While these may seem like very common symptoms to have when you catch a cold or the flu, they should not be taken lightly.”
Practicing safe sex is easy, simply visit the University’s Student Health center to have access to some form of contraception.
Whether it be condoms, female condoms, dental dams which provide protection while performing oral sex, or even birth control pills, the Student Health center is available to assist and educate FIU students.
There are a few tips that Barreto wants everyone who is sexually active to practice. Always use a condom, especially if a person is sexually active with more than one partner. Be careful when going out to drink since a person’s ability to make rational decision is diminished. For women, Barreto emphasized that female condoms can be worn for up to eight hours before intercourse.
“Always practice safe sex and be conscious of the health status of sexual partners. Get regular checkups to screen for signs of an STD and stay aware of your own health status,” said Barreto.
According to the American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment II (NCHA), Spring 2012 Reference Group Executive Summary, which surveyed more than 25,000 U.S. students, 70 percent of male students and 71 percent of female students reported having sexual partners in the last 12 months.
“It is always better to be safe than sorry,” said Barreto.
For more information, head over to the Healthy Living office at the Student Health Center (SHC) or call 305-348-2401 for tips and resources on having safe sex.
“I think lack of education, ignorance, not knowing the signs and symptoms not knowing how easily STDs and STIs can be transmitted and of course the whole stigma around using condoms with men. “Oh you can’t feel anything” or “They are too hard too obtain” the whole nine yards but overall I think the lack of awareness about STDs and STIs and how abundant they can be on the college scene”
“Well, let me start of by saying that a lot of the time people don’t feel any signs or symptoms so a lot of the time they don’t know they are infected with something so they could be infecting people without even knowing they have STDs or STIs but depending on the STD there could be a rash, sores, fever, nausea or headaches. It can be a roundabout feeling and a lot of the time it’s just the fever so people think they came down with the flu and shrug it off.
“The clinic offers birth control with your health insurance if you have it besides that we have condoms, dental dams and female condoms.”
“Always use a condom, better safe than sorry, you dont wanna find out something happened later on, be very conscious when drinking. There’s female condoms if you do silly stuff while your drinking. You can put those in 8 hours beforehand just in case anything were to happen. I think that’s safe, some people may think “Why would you put that in 8 hours before” but just as a precaution. If your in a monogamous relationship get tested before hand to see if you have anything. ”