The spring break you wont forget: Protecting yourself from STDs

For the average college student, next week will consist of no work, no school, lots of alcohol and lots of sex usually with random hook-ups.

Though spring break means taking a break from responsibility, one responsibility that should not be avoided is sexually protecting yourself.

Many students fail to realizethat sexually transmitteddiseases are not picky they do not care about ethnicities, age, social background, gender or sexual preference.

According to the American Social Health Association, in the U.S. alone there are approximately 19 million new cases each year, about half of which occur among ages 15-24.

The amount of alcohol a college student tends to consume during that week tends to enhance the possibility of forgetting to wrap it up.

Ladies, the guys are not the only ones that should be responsible for bringing the condom to the party. If you are having sex, you should have a condom, or two (one for your irresponsible friend), in your purse at all times.

If the hottest guy on the planet tries the tired excuse, I cant feel anything wearing a condom, it kills the mood, quickly respond with, Well, if you dont wear a condom, the only thing you will feel tonight is your hand.

There have been lots of times when I have had to turn down a boyfriend or a date because neither of us had protection. There have even been situations in which I was in the middle of very intense, passionate acts and I had to hit the pause button and run up to the nearest convenience store to grab a condom.

It really does not take much to get back in the heat of the moment after a Trojan run dont let that be an excuse.

There is not one excuse that is valid when it comes toprotecting yourself fromcatching an STD. Though some are curable with someantibiotics or penicillin, some are not curable and could lead to long term consequences such as infertility, liver cancer and death.

There are a few things to remember during your week of debauchery not all STDs are visible, condoms dont offer protection from all STDs, STDs can be transmitted orally and condoms are only 98 percent effective in preventing the spread of STDs.

While this should not stop you from enjoying your crazy week of freedom, you should remember that there could be long-term consequences to nights consumed by irresponsible choices.

Shaunda Wickham is a junior majoring in mass communications.