HEALTH BEAT

We feed our brains with all kinds of information. Something registers and forces us to change our lifestyles. Granted, more people are taking precautions to maintain their health, but those who aren’t (we all know

We feed our brains with all kinds of information. Something registers and forces us to change our lifestyles. Granted, more people are taking precautions to maintain their health, but those who aren’t (we all know some) need to pay close attention.

Everyone says that the only safe sex is no sex, but who’s kidding whom? Not many people make the decision to be abstinent. So take positive steps to ensure that your health remains intact.

In the 1960s and ’70s, casual sex was socially acceptable. Many people eagerly engaged in it. In the ’80s, people began hearing about an epidemic in the making called AIDS (not to mention a host of other diseases), and suddenly casual sex did not seem as appealing.

In the year 2000 many people see sex as a death wish. Monogamy is the name of the game and regular check-ups are essential. The problem with casual sex is that too many people become involved, and it is impossible to keep track of one’s sexual past. Putting yourself in that situation can have disastrous consequences, namely STDs (sexually transmitted diseases).

While using condoms proves to protect individuals from some diseases, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are the exception, because these types of infections can pass from skin to skin.

One such infection is HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus), which exhibits an outbreak of sores, flu-like symptoms, or no symptoms at all. Another infection that can pass from skin to skin is HPV, clinically known as Human Papillomavirus. The symptoms of this infection are warts, although often there are no symptoms.

Many diseases may not have any visible symptoms. If left untreated some may lead to cervical cancer, infertility, tubal pregnancy and death. This is why it is imperative to get annual check-ups. Bi-yearly testing appointments for STDs should be made as well.

Doctors do not always check for everything, so it is the responsibility of the patient to make sure that they do. Remember, anyone who is sexually active should make an appointment. If a regular doctor is not accessible, call Student Health Services at (215) 204-7501 to schedule an appointment.

Here are some critical ways to stay safe and disease-free:

1. Stop being a “player.” One-night stands are unpractical and unsafe.

2. Avoid unprotected sex. Of course it feels better without a condom, but it is not worth risking your life.

3. Talk honestly with your doctor about your sexual past. It may compromise your future reproductive health.

4. Learn about condoms and how to use them appropriately and effectively.

Understanding and implementing these steps into your lifestyle can possibly save your life.

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