Get tested or be tested — the importance of contraception

By Postie Editors

Flip a coin.

If you’re a sexually active college student 25 years old or under, those are your odds of catching a sexually transmitted infection, according to the Get Yourself Tested Campaign.

Almost 38,000 cases of chlamydia are reported for every 100,000 people aged 15-24 in Michigan, as well as 8,605 cases of Syphilis, according to the Center for Disease Control.

Every 9.5 minutes, someone in the United States is infected with HIV, according to and the Center for Disease Control. Currently there are 1.1 million cases. One in five are unaware of their infection.

Chlamydia, Syphilis, Herpes, HPV and more have all found homes at Oakland University, according to Graham Health Center director Nancy Jansen.

These statistics alone may be surprising, but there’s more.

Almost half of all pregnancies in the United States are unintended. In women 20-24, that figure rises to 64 percent.

It can cost $250,000 to raise a child for 17 years at minimum, not including college tuition, according to a USA Today article.

For those who think that’s too much to pay, child support is around $430 a month, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s $5,150 a year. Failure to pay child support could net a negligent parent four years in prison, according to

All of this can be prevented easily and cheaply. Contraception is readily available on campus at both the Graham Health Center and the Gender and Sexuality Center.

The Graham Health Center provides multiple forms of birth control at a low cost.

For those who qualify for Michigan’s “Plan First” program, some of those forms may be free, according to Jansen.

The Graham Health Center also has low-cost tests for sexually transmitted infections. In Vandenberg Hall Feb. 26, 75 of those tests will be free and anonymous.

There exists yet another way to prevent disease and unintended pregnancy, and it costs nothing — ait until you and your partner are both sure before pursuing a physical relationship.

If both partners are sure, get tested first.

It may seem inconvenient and maybe even expensive to get an STI test and purchase contraception. But consider how much STI treatments or child-raising will cost.

Which would you rather pay — $2.50 for a pack of condoms at Graham Health Center, or $250,000 to raise a baby?

Between a dwindling economy, test scores, internships, post-graduation employment and a million other things, college students have enough to worry about.

Sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancies should not be on that list.

Protect yourself. And don’t trust anyone else to do it for you.


The staff editorial is written weekly by members of The Oakland Post’s editorial board.