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Monday, October 25, 2021

Science is Serendipitous: Condom conundrum

I decided to be nice that night, throwing out our apartments collective trash. It feels good to do that sometimes – you know, doing a solid for your roomies. But what I saw in one of the trash cans can never be unseen – a used condom. My first instinct was to immediately charge inside and ask questions about whose it was. I then realized that besides the “fun” that resulted from that incident, the condom being there was actually indicative of something that is helpful for society.It indicated whoever used it was guarding themseleves and their partner from sexually transmitted diseases (STD).

STDs are a problem globally, with a lot of people not being educated or finding out what they are or how they transmit. At the college level it’s especially important for us to realize that even though we want to have care-free fun sometimes, safety of our health should always be the top priority. Whatever you want to call it – penis hat, raincoat, naughty bags, bulletproof vest, insurance glove, or just a condom – it’s important to remember to wear it! There are seriously so many brands and differentiators out there that odds are there is a condom that fits your fantasy needs (however weird they might be). Also, if you think that condoms “kill the mood,” nothing kills the mood better than having a STD positive test show up on your medical report, or even worse — your parents’ coffee table.

“Hey Umayr, I know everything about protection and STDs, I’m in college!” Man, check yourself before you wreck yourself. According to the Centers for Disease Control, STDs have been on the rise in Yolo County among the 15 to 24 age group. Even college students can fall victim to not being adequately educated. UC Davis provides resources to help you understand how to be safe during sex. Our Student Health and Counseling Services department provides education and promotion of sexual health for students. You can read all about prevention and safe habits on their website and find locations for in-person help. There is also the Love Lab, a mobile location on campus that provides free products for safe sexual activities.

It’s not enough to just think about having safe sexual activities. The science is clear about what could happen when you don’t have safe sex. Do yourself a solid and learn about the resources UC Davis offers to keep you safe. It’s worth it!

This is my last opinion column for now! I hope you enjoyed reading and maybe learned something! Continue to follow my research and thoughts on twitter (@umayrsufi) or email me (uwsufi@ucdavis.edu).

Graphic by Jennifer Wu

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