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Content Any Way U Want It!

BG Falcon Media

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September 21, 2023

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Students who travel to party spots for spring break should be aware of STI risks associated with alcohol, sex

Each year thousands of college students flock to popular vacation destinations during their spring break from school.

While these trips are meant to be fun and worry-free, some students may overlook the risks that are often associated with the carefree retreats.

Some of the more popular destinations include Panama City Beach, Fla. and Cancun, Mexico. These places are notoriously known for hosting stereotypically drunk and promiscuous college students during spring break.

While of course not every student who visits these places will be partaking in risky behaviors such as overconsumption of alcohol or random hook-ups, it is still a good idea to be aware of the risks that accompany these behaviors.

Faith Yingling, director of Wellness at the University, is aware that with spring break vacations comes the opportunity to drink heavily and to partake in casual sex.

“Sex under the influence is where problems can arise,” Yingling said.

Notably, the issue of consensual sex comes into play as an intoxicated person cannot legally give consent.

There is also the issue of safe sex. With random, unprotected hook-ups comes the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection. It is important to know the status of your sexual health.

People ages 15-24 account for half of all new STIs each year, although they represent 25 percent of the sexually experienced population, according to a 2013 report released by the Centers for Disease Control.

The vast majority of this age group is effected by gonnorrhea, chlamydia and HPV the most, according to the report.

Yingling said that the University’s Wellness Connection offers free, confidential HIV testing on the third Wednesday of every month and that the Falcon Health Center offers a wider range of STI testing.

Senior Kelsey Mefferd is spending spring break in Cuba with her advanced Spanish class and said that while she has not been on any particularly wild spring break trips, she has heard of friends and other students who have.

“They get away from their friends and families and let loose, which is even more dangerous in an unfamiliar area, even if it is still in the U.S.,” Mefferd said.

Senior Audrey Mays said that she has only been on school-based trips for spring break until this year when she will go somewhere just for fun.

“I purposely avoided places like [Panama City Beach],” Mays said.

She said that things like “free sex” and “sloppy drinking” are not things that she takes interest in doing but understands that people do.

“I think that people can have fun and be mindful of future consequences at the same time,” she said.

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