Health Center Helps Students Learn Safe Sex Choices


HEALTHY RESOURCES: The campus health center stocks a large selection of safe sex reading materials.

Alexandria Diaz, Staff Writer

Sex. It comes with pleasure and consequence, yet many avoid talking about it.

If students are new to the act of sex and feel uncomfortable talking about it, they can get free confidential advice at the health center. Sharon Horejsi, a registered nurse who works on campus, said there is no topic they cannot talk about with students.

Couples can even go in together, possibly alleviating the anxious feeling of going alone.

Some may think that because the health center offers free condoms and information on birth control and STD’s, that they are promoting sex, but this is a misconception. By offering such amenities, the health center is promoting safe sex. The two should not be confused.

While the health center does provide those services, they do not provide STD testing, the Plan B pill, which protects a woman from pregnancy after having unprotected sex within 48 hours, or birth control. Students are instead referred to a low-cost or free clinic in their area.

With one out of five new HIV cases occurring in people aged 13 to 24 and with four out of five of those being male, young adults need to understand the risks they face when having unprotected sex. According to the Center for Disease Control, women suffering from an untreated STD face the long-term risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, and tubal scarring among many other health issues.

Although sex has been around since the beginning of time, people still find it too embarrassing to talk about.

“I don’t know why [we don’t talk about it],” said Chadd Taulai, 18, a GCC student. “We all do it.”

Freshman Amy Aviles, 18, said more students should visit the health center, even it is just to get condoms or advice.

If a student fears being judged about their sex life, the nurses on campus are there to look after the well-being of students, not to make judgments.

Birth control goes beyond taking a pill every day. They include patches (Ortho Evra), a shot (Depo-Provera), vaginal rings (NuvaRing), IUDs, and Implanon or Nexplanon, small devices that goes in the arm.

Although birth control may come with side-effects, they vary depending on the individual woman and usually subside over time.

Aside from using a condom, there are other methods of protection, including cervical caps (such as a FemCap), diaphragms, spermicide, and female condoms.

“Sheathing Cupid’s Arrow,” an article published in the Feb. 15 edition of The Economist, introduces various organizations that are working on developing new and improved condoms. In Los Angeles, a charity called California Family Health Council, plans on making a condom out of polyethylene, which is stronger than today’s latex condoms and a fifth of the thickness.

The new condoms currently in development will, of course, come with downsides. For example, the polyethylene condom does not have the elasticity of a latex condom; however, with various new condoms in the works, finding one that is suitable for particular couples is right around the corner.

The health center is on the first floor of the San Rafael building facing the auditorium.