Pharm. fraterneties hold sex ed & STD Health Fair


Steffen Horwath

Pharmacy students Katie Miller, left, and Antonia Gobo, right, stand in front of their display on the human papilloma virus, a sexually transmitted disease.

On Oct. 27, the professional development ambassador, Kara Cooper, and multiple Wilkes pharmaceutical fraternities worked together to create the Sexual Education Health Fair.

The main focus of this health fair was to delve into the usefulness of contraceptives and the seriousness of STDs. 

Sexual Education is not the easiest subject to discuss, Cooper said, but it is very important to understand that “this could happen to us,” she said.

For this reason, the pharmaceutical groups targeted the student population instead of just the pharmacy population. 

The student age group is responsible for 22 percent of all new HIV diagnoses and 20 million new STD reports. It may seem surprising that the most common form of contraception — the condom — is not used every time. 

The pharmaceutical clubs said they are also hoping that the STDs that are already in circulation will not be transmitted, as more than 80 percent of those with STDs do not have noticeable symptoms, according to the University of Colorado Women’s Resource Center.

The white coated pharmacy students created trifold posters to explain the ways to prevent, notice and treat STDs.

There are some simple methods to reducing STDs, but the easiest way is through abstinence, according to health fair information.

Although this may be the easiest, is it realistic?

According to Harvard University, 60 percent of students reported having sex in a 12 month period, showing that most students, whether protected or not, do not choose abstinence. 

The survey also shows that “59 percent of those students “mostly” or “always” use a barrier method during sex. This is in contrast to the 43 percent of students who reported “did not use a condom the last time they had sex,” that the University of Colorado’s Women’s Resource Center found.

Either way, it is likely that at least 40 percent of a sexually active student body that does not use protection. 

The turn-out at the fair was less than hoped. According to Cooper, the time of day was at fault.

Because the fair was during class time on a warm weather day, not as many students were flowing through the lower level of the SUB. Throughout the two hours, the pharmacy students were there to help students understand the severity of this issue.

According to one student, this group “should have given out condoms” instead of “preached abstinence.”

How are students supposed to know if they have STDs?

At Wilkes University, there is free, confidential STD testing. These dates are about once a month, and include a $5 gift card to Dunkin Donuts. Although these tests are only done for gonorrhea and chlamydia, it is a must-do if you are sexually active.