According to a survey released in February this year by the University of North Carolina, roughly 50% of sexually active college students will have an STD by the time they turn 25 and most won’t even know it.
Theta Chi teamed up with the Graham Health Center and the Oakland County Public Health Department on Friday to put on “Let’s Talk About Sex,” the fraternity’s first Sacred Purpose event of the year in an effort to raise awareness of STDs in the college environment. The program took place in the Lake Superior A room in the basement of the OC and offered free STD screening as well as free food, t-shirts and free resources for safe sex.
The GHC hosted an STD themed Family Feud, and nurses from the OCPHD were around to answer any questions students had.
“Theta Chi nationals initiated the Sacred Purpose movement two years ago to promote healthy lifestyles, and this was our first event of the year,” said Zach Rabideau, Theta Chi Vice President of Health and Safety. “This was a fitting time to put on the program.”
“There tends to be more sexual activity occurring at the beginning of the school year, and this event demonstrates the resources Oakland students have available to them to get tested and stay safe when engaging in sexual activity,” said Rabideau.
The OCPHD brought their spin on the “GYT” campaign to campus on Friday. The Get Yourself Tested campaign was started by MTV in 2009 and has been prevalent on social media ever since. Encouraging sexually-active young people to get themselves tested for STDs, MTV offers a ton of resources on their website, and has inspired organizations such as Planned Parenthood and local health departments like Oakland County’s to take up similar stances.
In a study done in the middle of 2014, Planned Parenthood found that since they started promoting the campaign, they saw a 70-100% increase in patients coming in for STD testing varying by location.
In addition to testing, the Graham Health center offers treatment options if results come back positive, further information on STD prevention, and a place to buy condoms, birth control, and Plan B at a discounted rate.
Overall, about 30 Oakland students benefited from the free testing and many more stopped in for information. If you missed the event and want to take advantage of the testing, the Graham Health Center is offering free STD testing while supplies last, or you can head over to the nearest Oakland County Public Health office, located at 1200 N. Telegraph, 34E Pontiac, MI 48341.