Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sex and the UniverCity: Sun, shades and STDs

Sex and the UniverCity: Sun, shades and STDs
From the University of Connecticut's DAILY CAMPUS Newspaper
By Alyssa Carroll

Staff Writer

Published: Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bikinis, beaches and bodies; spring break is a guaranteed recipe for some seriously sexy times. But with a week of students looking to party, there’s something else that can really make things start burning up: an STD.

Meeting people is bound to happen, but for every sexy accent comes a whole slew of foreign diseases ready to pounce on your freshly-tanned body.

International travelers are at particularly high risk of contracting STDs, including HIV and syphilis, when having sex with locals.

Foreign locations may have legalized prostitution, and just because you would never be involved with one, doesn’t mean the cute guy on the beach never has.

Similarly, when having a one-night stand, take a minute to think about the person you’re with (beyond their cute butt). Think to yourself about how easy a decision it was for that person to sleep with you. If it doesn’t seem like this is a new thing for this person, you may want to wonder how many times he or she has done this before.

According to 1999 World Health Organization (WHO) estimates, “340 million new cases of curable STIs (syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis) occur annually throughout the world in adults aged 15-49 years,” and the number is only growing.

WHO also reports 30 different kinds of sexually transmissible bacteria, viruses and parasites.

So, let’s do some quick math.

If there were 340 million curable STI cases in ’99, 30 kinds of STDs and 200 people in the bar you’re partying at, what are the chances of contracting something totally vacation-ruining?

Probably higher than your chances of winning a wet T-shirt contest.

These numbers are not listed to encourage celibacy, but being smart and safe is obviously the most important part of being on vacation.

Now, in an attempt to avoid preachy “safer sex” information about the importance of condoms (and about how they are 99.9 percent effective in preventing pregnancy and how they prevent STDs and general grossness), I’ll skip that whole spiel. [Safety Net editor's note: you can find all that info on this page anyway!]

But remember, crabs are only cute on the beach.


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