At a time when Sexually Transmitted Diseases are rampant amongyouth, it seems more precautions need to be taken to ensure goodhealth. According to Advocates for Youth, a program committedto assisting young adults in making wise decisions about theirreproductive sexual health, “Each year U.S. youth under age 20experience nearly four million sexually transmitted infections(STIs)-including herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia,gonorrhea, and HIV.”
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention NationalDivisions of HIV/AIDS Prevention also reported, “In 2002,African Americans accounted for over half of the new HIV diagnosesreported in the United States.” The leading cause of HIVinfection among African-American women is heterosexual contact,followed by injection drug use.
To prevent diseases one can either choose to practice safe sex orbecome celibate–abstaining from sexual activityaltogether.
“I don’t disagree with celibacy. Ipraise the people who are celibate, but sex simply feelsgood.”
Another Howard student, Nazlah Smith, aFlorida native, disagrees. “Sex causes a lot of problems in arelationship and most young people are not ready for theconsequences that come along with sex. So celibacy isdefinitely the answer.”
In addition to decreasing chances of contracting a sexuallytransmitted disease, Reverend Robyn Franklin, Chaplain at Howard’ssaid students should consider celibacy because it promotesself-respect.
“The understanding of the concept ofcelibacy allows you to understand the rule and the practice [ofsaving yourself for marriage]. Your body is a vessel of theHoly Spirit and we need to remember to treat it as such. Makesure somebody is worthy of you. In order to do that you needto understand how important you are. We are not receptacles ofother people’s lust. We will fall but we need to remember wecan get back up.”
To educate students on the importance oftaking care of their health Howard’s HealthCenter offers manyprograms. These programs are held in residence halls,classrooms and other settings for various campusgroups. HIV/AIDS and other STD’s, Contraception/BirthControl and Pregnancy are among the top issues discussed.
In addition to these programs, Howard offers aclass on Human Sexuality, so students can learn about methods ofSTD prevention. Glenn Rivers, freshman from Michigan feelssex education should be mandatory in college.
“Young people should be taught aboutHuman Sexuality before they enter college.” Rivers said,”Young people are most affected by true life experiences.[So]
Human Sexuality classes should bring in youngpeople who have been directly affected by STD’s or has a loved onethat has been affected.”