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Being sexually active carries with it the responsibility to consider the possibility of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) with every sexual encounter. The decision to be sexually active is one that many students consider during their college years. It is a decision that should be made carefully to ensure both physical and emotional health. It should be made based on personal values and careful thought, and not decided in the “heat of the moment.”
If you decide that being sexually active is right for you, be proactive about decisions related to contraception. You can access advice and exams at Student Health. You should use a reliable method of birth control every time you have sex, and protect yourself from STIs (sexually transmitted infections) by using a lubricated latex condom before any genital contact. Other contraceptives can protect you from a resultant pregnancy, but only condoms can protect you from STIs. Condoms are available at the Condom Caravan, a service of WELLWVU that sells affordable, convenient contraception at various locations across campus.
Student Health provides contraceptive prescriptions and examinations with Pap smears, and certain STI tests.
Being sexually responsible also means avoiding sex under the influence of drugs and alcohol. Pregnancy and acquisition of STIs frequently occur under the influence of alcohol and drugs. Drunken sex is rarely safe sex. Mutual consent rarely accompanies sex under the influence. Ruby Memorial Hospital has Registered Nurses with certification as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) on staff. Besides sobriety, being sexually responsible also means a relationship that is trusting, respectful and mutually satisfying. It means communicating your needs, desires and boundaries in a clear fashion.