February is the National month of love. We celebrate love and relationships over flowers, romantic dinners, candy and of course, sex. The Yuba College health department wants to help raise awareness about sexual safety to all Yuba College students to help celebrate this Valentine’s Day, safely and responsibly.
February 13th, located in the Yuba College Admissions building, the Yuba College Health Department handed out free dental dams and condoms for both men and women. Harmony Health Community Events Specialist and Family Resource Center Outreach Specialist, Elicia Stewart says, “most people think they can “see” a sexually tranmitted infection (STI). For example, people believe that they would know, just by looking at someone, if a person has herpes or other STI’s, because people believe that they would see a bump or something to indicate such a thing. The truth is, even if someone looks “clean” they could be a carrier.”
The Yuba County Health Department released statistics showing STI contraction rates in the Yuba County area for the year 2016. In 2016, about 9,200 men and women from the ages of 15 to 34, contracted Chlamydia; about 1,900 men and women contracted Gonorrhea and about 40 men in the area, contracted Early Syphilis. These rates are troubling and as a result, Elicia says “it is because of these rates, that we find a need to raise awareness on sex safety.”
The Yuba College Health Department doesn’t just hand out free condoms one day a year, they offer condoms, STI, STD and pregnancy testing at absolutely no cost to Yuba College Students, all year round and students should not be embarrassed. Stewart says, “we advocate taking care of yourself and making healthy choices. Of course, the best way to ensure you’re not exposed to anything is through abstinence, but if you so choose to engage in sexual activity, we don’t judge you on your behavior, we
just want to help make sure that you’re making healthy choices. The truth is, if you have what you need with you, when you need it, you’re more likely to use it.”