The CDC estimates that people under 24 acquire 50% of all new STIs. For this reason the UC Wellness Center seeks to promote responsible and safer sexual behavior so that UC students can maintain good sexual health.The most important thing to remember when it comes to sexual health is that many of the unwanted or negative effects of sexual behavior are preventable if people engage in safer sex.
What is safer sex?
Safer sex is any practice used to reduce the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or becoming pregnant.
Barrier Methods- Wrap it up!
Barrier methods are a form of safer sex involving the use of an actual barrier to keep from coming into contact with another person’s genitals or sexual fluids. Barrier methods protect against both STIs and pregnancy (depending on the method) and can be used in addition to hormonal birth control. Barrier methods include:
*Click the links for information on how to use each barrier method.
Contraceptives are a method of safer sex that includes any activity, practice, device or medication that is used to reduce the risk of becoming pregnant. Some examples of contraceptives include:
- Birth control pills
- Intrauterine device (IUD)
- Depo Provera (the shot)
- Vaginal ring
- Contraceptive patch
Learn more about contraceptives here.
Only 53% of UC students reported using a condom or other barrier method for vaginal sex within the last month. The use of condoms during each and every sex act, including oral sex, is suggested to protect yourself and your partner from getting an STI.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) or sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections or diseases that are spread through sexual contact. STIs can be spread through oral, vaginal, anal, and sometimes even digital sex (stimulation of the genitals with the hands or fingers). Many STIs have no signs or symptoms meaning many people may not be aware they have one and could continue to pass it on to other people. Many STIs are curable, often with just one dose of medication. But if STIs go untreated for long periods of time, they can have long-term negative health effects.
The 4 H’s- The 4 STIs that are not curable (meaning you could potentially have them for life), are:
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Where to get STI testing?
Sex & Alcohol
We do not recommend mixing sex and alcohol. Legally, consent for sexual behavior cannot be given while intoxicated.
Alcohol impairment often leads to no knowing your partner, not having a condom available, not using a condom, or not using one correctly.
- Almost 50% of unplanned sexual encounters occurred under the influence of alcohol.
- 60% of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) were transmitted when one or more of the partners was drunk.
Sexual Health Resources