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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, information and supplies for various methods of contraception are available at Student Health (condoms, birth control pills, Implanon, NuvaRing, Depo-Provera shot, or an intrauterine device). 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. For dates, please see the Condom Caravan Schedule.
Additionally, Student Health offers the State-wide Family Planning Program, which provides contraceptives and education, examinations with Pap smears, and certain STI tests. Confidential testing for pregnancy or concerns of the possibility of STIs, treatment of vaginitis, or evaluation of irregular menstruation can be done in medical appointments.
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. Student Health has a Registered Nurses with certification as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) on staff, as well as a counselor whose emphasis is Sexual Assault Education and Prevention. 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.