Club on Campus Advocates Safe Sex

5aBy Agnes Ndaba

Gender and Sexuality Alliance, a student club on campus, plans to distribute safe-sex kits.

GSA is a club aimed at providing socialization, support and advocacy for students who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer at College of Southern Nevada. The group discusses issues and concerns amongst members and provides special events, tours and outreach to help all students, said Joseph Hassert, club adviser.

One initiative the club wants to get going is educating students about safe sex. To do so, the students want to provide safe-sex kits that would have condoms and STD testing information in them, according to Samantha Gingrich, president of the club.

“When the club started, I pushed hard for bringing safe-sex advocacy into our activities and I wanted to provide condoms to the student population,” Gingrich said.

GSA is working with The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada, a community-based organization that supports the human rights and well-being of LGBTQ, to provide the kits.

“I believe that safe-sex kits will open up the conversation about safe sex on campus and make it less taboo to try to protect oneself,” Gingrich explained.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s February 2016 review on sexual-risk behaviors, nearly half of the 20 million new STDs each year were among young people, between the ages of 15 to 24. Nearly 10,000 aged 13 to 24 were diagnosed with HIV infection in the United States in 2013.

For these reasons, it is important to provide information to college students to shape lifelong attitudes and behaviors, particularly pertaining to sex, that will help them support their health and well-being and reduce risks for STDs, HIV and unintended pregnancies, according to CDC.

The most reliable way to avoid STDs is to abstain from sexual activity. If students are sexually active, safe-sex practices are suggested.

The distribution of safe-sex kits on campus hasn’t begun yet.

In addition to safe-sex kits GSA’s agenda for the year will focus on many important issues. “Even though the LGBTQ community has had a huge victory with advances like marriage equality, we still have a long way to go with anti-discrimination laws and other legislation that is influenced by the President,” said Joey Goodrich, vice president of the club.

Tavish Bell, librarian, is concerned with issues of prejudice and stereotypes. These topics, among many others, are part of the club’s agenda for the year.

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