When it comes to students and protection against sexually transmitted infections (STIs), there are important problems and precautions to be aware of. Yet, many young people are not as educated about these issues or as cautious as needed. The lack of coherent information and education on safe sex practices leads to increased STI cases among young people who start their sexual lives around college. Let’s explore the common problems that lead to higher STIs in college students, what diseases are the most common in this area, and what precautions can bring these numbers down. This is everything you need to know.
Let’s start by underlying the biggest issues that lead to the STI crisis among college students.
Lack of knowledge
Students need better and more comprehensive sex education in schools. Such programs should cover all essential information, from safe sex practices to information about the risks, symptoms, and prevention methods associated with STIs. Such knowledge will help students stay aware and cautious about their sex lives and interactions with partners. It will also reduce the risks of misconceptions or risky behavior that may endanger young people. Overall, sufficient knowledge about the issue will provide young people with tools to stay alert and wise about their sex lives.
The lack of knowledge leaves room for speculation and misconceptions. These are the next big threat to rising STI levels among young people. Students start to believe what is not true or only partial truth. For instance, young people may think that oral sex is completely safe and can’t give them any STIs. Or that transmitted infections are not a threat when using the withdrawal method. These are other common misconceptions that can give students a false sense of security in their sex lives. Yet, such beliefs don’t prevent them from risks of STI exposure.
Inconsistent condom use
People who use condoms during intercourse can still be at risk of STI exposure. There are several reasons for it. First, people may not be using condoms as effectively as they think. For example, inconsistent use of condoms (not during the entire sexual intercourse or not during every intercourse) leaves just as many chances of getting an infection as without it.
Secondly, incorrect use of condoms can also lead to risks of condom breaks or loss, which leaves partners exposed to the disease.
Alcohol and drug use
Substance use, particularly alcohol, can affect judgment and lead to risky sexual behavior among students. Under the influence of substances, students may engage in unprotected sex or have multiple sexual partners without considering the potential consequences. Overall, alcohol and drug use can hinder decision-making abilities, remove personal constraints and reduce reasoning and logic while increasing vulnerability to STI transmission.
Stigma and embarrassment
The stigma around sex life and STIs still stands strong despite all the social progress. People still feel embarrassed and ashamed to admit having an STI, not knowing about the ways of STI transmissions, or dealing with other aspects of sexual health. As a result, the social stigma prevents young people from searching for reliable information and help, getting tested regularly, or even seeking treatment. The taboo around sex and STIs promotes misconceptions, hinders the spread of information, and discourages individuals from seeking necessary support and asking the right questions.
Knowing the issues surrounding the widespread STIs will make us more concerned about the situation. However, it is also a matter of learning how to stay safe and keep young people healthy.
Education and awareness
Providing comprehensive sex education that includes information about STIs, their transmission, and prevention methods, like correct condom use, is crucial. Students should have accurate knowledge to make informed decisions.
Sexually active students should know the value of regular STI testing, even if they do not show any symptoms. Regular testing helps detect infections early, prevents spreading, and facilitates timely treatment.
Students use the Internet to stay safe and receive the best experience with every decision. They check reviewing essay companies and leave comments on Google Maps. Yet, skipping ‘reviews’ on your own health can be much more dangerous than a bad dining experience.
Safe sexual practices
Safe sexual practices are the most reliable and efficient way to prevent STIs from spreading. Practices like limiting the number of sexual partners, monogamy, and discussing sexual history and STI testing with partners should be encouraged.
Destigmatization and support
Students need a safe environment where they feel comfortable discussing sexual health and seek support. We need to combat stigma by promoting understanding, empathy, and non-judgmental attitudes toward individuals with STIs.
STIs come in many forms and diagnoses. Some of them are easily noticeable and treatable. Others can stay in our bodies for years before being noticed. Meanwhile, our health can suffer from having an infection. Even worse, we can unknowingly transmit the infection to our partners. A few types of STIs can affect the quality of our lives, our health, and even our lifespan.
Overall, this is not a topic that young people should take lightly or remain in the darkness throughout their most active days of sexual life. Hence, we need to address all the common problems around the health crisis by spreading awareness and support, writing essays on sexual health, and fighting social stigma. By doing so, we can empower students to make informed decisions, practice safe sex, and seek appropriate healthcare when needed.