Let’s Talk About Sex… Safe Sex
By Sherae Hall
The Campus Activities Board (CAB) met with BSU students to discuss the ins and outs of safe sex practices at a safe sex seminar on Oct. 26. Most people learn that abstinence is the best and healthiest sex practice, a practice that was encouraged by members of CAB.
However, according to William Ridley, the vice president of Bowie State University’s Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Prevention Program (ATOD), “This generation, the millennial generation, is sex driven.” Therefore, practicing safe sex should not be taken lightly.
While the male condom and oral contraceptives are the two most popular forms of contraception, BSU graduate Tamisha Jackson discussed other forms of contraceptives and how they are used. Jackson gave the female attendees valuable information about the female condom and the diaphragm. She also encouraged all women to “take part in knowing [their] body and enjoying [their] body” because the use of such contraceptives by women require the knowledge of one’s own reproductive system.
As the seminar continued, Ridley encouraged students to be knowledgeable about contraception and the affects of misusing contraceptives, or worst, not using them at all. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are serious, and certain types are even life altering. While most STDs/STIs have cures, there are some that don’t. Ridley discussed the severity of such diseases as HIV and AIDS because both cannot be cured. “The numbers are real” Ridley exclaimed, and then he explained that 1 in 33 people in the District of Columbia have AIDS.
Ridley gave an interactive demonstration that thoroughly explained how HIV is contracted, and how the body reacts to such a virus. He described HIV as a “wimpy virus” that cannot live on the outside of the body. However, once it is inside the body, the strength of the virus can be deadly if not detected early. Therefore getting tested for STDs is quite important.
In a “sex-driven” generation, getting tested is the norm. However, there are still some people that have a strong fear of testing because they are more worried about the possibility of receiving a “positive” result rather than a “negative”. But Ridley explained the importance of knowing your status and how a “positive” result doesn’t mean that life is over. In reference to HIV, “you can live a healthy life if you are HIV positive” according to Ridley
In terms of sex, safe sex is the best practice. A common misconception about the male condom is that one size doesn’t fit all. Another common misconception is that the female contraceptives prevent women from contracting an STD and that they prevent pregnancy 100 percent of the time. None of this is true.
Both men and women have something to be concerned about when it comes to safe sex. Taking preventative measures starts with self, and worthiness of oneself is a joy that should not be taken for granted. Know yourself. Educate yourself and others. Encourage yourself and others. And get tested because you should always know where you stand.