When you sleep with someone, the old adage tells us, you’re not sleeping with just your partner — you’re sleeping with everyone they’ve ever slept with. And everyone those people have slept with. And so on.

The National College Health Assessment Survey has found that 54 percent of college students consistently use condoms during intercourse, and only 4 percent of them use condoms during oral sex. Therefore, it’s no wonder that, according to Stanford University’s Sexual Health Peer Resource Center, 1­in ­4 college students have a sexually transmitted disease.

An interview with Plattsburgh State Student Health Center Director Kathleen Camelo in associate news editor Tim Lyman’s article, “Student condom use plateaus,” shows there is a current resurgence in cases of gonorrhea and syphilis, and other STDs such as chlamydia are still very much around.

To help combat the spread of these less­than­desirable medical conditions, the Health Center provides students access to free condoms, given out right there in the building.

With such easy access, students are still coming up positive. So, PSUC students, we ask: What gives?

Now, we’re not completely oblivious. The first answer out of most students’ mouths would have something to do with how much better sex feels without the barrier of a condom.

We get it. But we’re willing to bet the peace of mind one feels after wearing protection and knowing the chance of getting a case of the itchy genitals is highly diminished probably feels a lot better.

Even if you have read the article and know the risks involved with unprotected sex but plan on continuing, there are still steps you can take to protect yourself.

Get tested. The Health Center provides in­house tests for students, and Camelo emphasized the importance of all parties involved in a sexual encounter to get tested.

“Camelo said this process and HIV testing are both covered by students’ insurance,” Lyman writes.

“‘We really recommend that when you start a new relationship, you and your partner should get tested,’ she said, adding that disclosing one’s sexual history to one’s partner is ‘part of prevention.’”

Having the conversation to get tested may be awkward, but his or reaction your will indicate you to tell them to either hit it clean or to simply hit the road.

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