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Sexual health report card unsatisfactory

April 19, 2012

 

 

2011 Trojan Sexual Health Report Card

 

REBECCA ALVAREZ
Staff Reporter

 

The nation’s No. 1 condom maker ranked Tech 131 out of 141 colleges in its annual sexual health report card.

 

The makers of Trojan brand condoms, Church & Dwight, issued the report in November.

 

Tech was one spot above the bottom 10 colleges in the nation and moved up two spots from the report released in 2010.

 

Tanya Sims, Patti McFadden and Paula Books, assistant professors of nursing, have been working to raise awareness at Tech since the release of the 2010 report.

 

“We’ve been using the shock factor in sex education,” Sims said. “With the few resources and time we have, getting to the point is the best way to do it.”

 

The trio have held presentations for Tech organizations on sexually transmitted infections throughout the school year to raise sexual health awareness.

 

The presentations included pictures of various diseases and a brief explanation of how the diseases are contracted and the symptoms that are produced.

 

“Sex education is something that needs to be right to the point, but handled tastefully,” McFadden said. “It’s a delicate topic that people don’t want to talk about.”

 

Conscious Contraceptives is an online organization that was founded in December to encourage the use of condoms among America’s young adults who are sexually active.

 

Barriers put up by society against sexual health topics, like bashful attitudes, are what organizations like ConCon are targeting and working to eliminate.

 

Cory Capoccia, founder of ConCon, said the online organization focuses on sexual health education by selling contraceptives through its online site.

 

He said the organization is unique because its approach is secure and discreet.

 

Contraceptives can be purchased online and delivered to the consumer’s home and all information on the contents of each package is confidential.

 

“Buying contraceptives at the grocery store or health center can be an embarrassing experience,” he said. “People worry about seeing someone they know and become discouraged about buying them.”

 

Capoccia said he believes embarrassment is among the top reasons why sexually active individuals do not bother buying condoms. However, selling contraceptives is not the main purpose of the organization, he said.

 

ConCon representatives travel to universities and colleges throughout the country to give presentations on the importance of using condoms if and when people decide to become sexually active.

 

Capoccia’s said his organization is interested in speaking to Tech’s student body and will soon be speaking to university administration about giving a presentation to raise awareness about their organization and sexual health.

 

Unprotected sex can be detrimental to anyone’s health, said Sims.

 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 19 million new sexually transmitted infections occur each year nationwide—nearly half of them occurring in young people ages 15-24.

 

Louisiana had the highest number of reported cases of syphilis in the country in 2010.

 

Louisiana also had the second highest number of gonorrhea cases, and third highest in cases of chlamydia.

 

“The hard truth is sexual health is a taboo subject,” Sims said.

 

Capoccia said he hopes people will take advantage of ConCon’s discreet methods to not only increase sexual health awareness, but to also fund a bigger mission.

 

ConCon is a partner organization of Support International Change, an organization that provides sexual health education in the rural areas of Tanzania to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.

 

A portion of the profit earned is donated to SIC and is also used to provide domestic aid by supplying contraceptives to under served communities in the United States to reduce the occurrence of STIs and unplanned pregnancies.

 

Capoccia said he hopes presentations given at universities and ConCon’s discreet order and delivery methods will encourage young adults who decide to become sexually active to use condoms to protect their health.

 

“People can become activists simply through protecting themselves,” he said. “There’s nothing better than knowing your part of a greater cause.”

 

Email comments to rha014@latech.edu.

 

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