The “month of love” is typically associated with shades of pinks, reds, heart candies and Valentine’s cards. However, Winona State University’s weekly Wellness Wednesday on Feb. 6 aims to remind students that February is also National Condom Month.
Wellness Wednesday’s are all surrounding hot topics students in their college years should be aware of and may not get much attention otherwise, like dealing with seasonal depression, coping with homesickness and safe sex.
Wellness Wednesday is a safe space to learn about topics like these, every session is easily accessible to students and is held in the Integrated Wellness Complex.
The Wellness Wednesday session is titled “All You Need is Love… And a Condom!” to continue to spread awareness to the student body on health and safe sex.
“Health and wellness during college is so essential to student success. Healthy students become healthy adults in the working world,” Katie Jensen, health and wellness promotion coordinator at Winona State, said. “Plus, it’s easier to learn about how to best take care of ourselves now.”
Sex and bodily health have been things students learn about from a young age starting with “The Talk.” It seems as though it becomes an increasingly more uncomfortable thing to talk about with others as one ages, which can be dangerous when entering the young adult stages of life.
This is also something that this Wellness Wednesday will take into consideration, offering different sources for students to ask questions and gain information from if a public session is too uncomfortable.
The “Ask-A-Nurse” line is an option for students as an accessible and helpful source. It involves an online message line where students can text with a health expert, or they can call the on-campus line for private questions. Students can also make an appointment to speak to a provider to get their questions and concerns addressed by walking in the clinic to set up a meeting.
The “All You Need is Love… And a Condom!” session will also most likely have the Community Outreach Specialist from Southeast Minnesota Citizens Action Council Clinic (Semcac) in Winona present to ask questions to. The Semcac Community Action Agency is yet another option for students to receive reproductive health information and care, with their goal being to “empower and advocate for people to enhance their self-sufficiency by maximizing community resources” as stated on their website.
“There is always something that students can find helpful in getting connected to campus or community resources,” Jensen said.
Starting the conversation on safe sex has to begin somewhere and should be sooner rather than later.
Paying attention to a broader perspective on sexual health can be impactful as well, since in recent years a rise in sexually transmitted diseases have struck the United States – especially among teens and young adults.
Just in 2017, more than 1.7 million cases of the chlamydia trachomatis infection were reported to the CDC – a 6.9 percent increase since 2016, making it the most prominent STD in the U.S. Almost two-thirds of all reported cases of chlamydia in 2017 were among those ages fifteen to twenty-four as found by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
From 2016-2017, rates of reported chlamydia increased among both males and females, in all regions of the United States and among all ethnicities and racial backgrounds.
Practicing safe sex should become a more known and spoken about topic as it continues to be prominent in the United States, and that is where the Feb. 6 Wellness Wednesday comes into play.