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The News Argus
Nov. 13. 2006
Photo by Sharrod Patterson
Condoms not only protect against unwanted pregnancies, but
they also protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
Young people often place
their health onto the back
burner as college students.
In the midst of other priorities
such as classes and extra-curricular
activities, health issues frequently
take a back seat to other aspects of
college life. It is imperative that
sexually active college students
take a proactive approach to their
sexual health and be knowledge
able about protection and preven
tion against unwanted pregnancies
as well as sexually transmitted dis
According to Smartersex.org, a
Web site that offers peer-oriented
support, addresses health con
cerns, and provides information
about various sexual health topics:
one in five people in the United
States has an STD, two-thirds of all
STDs occur in people 25 years of
age or younger and at least one in
four Americans will contract an
STI (Sexually Transmitted
Infection) at some point in their
Even more astonishing is the
fact that fewer than half of adults
ages 18 to 44 have been tested for
an STD other than HIV/AIDS.
Such statistics may serve as a
wake-up call for many young peo
ple to be more responsible regard
ing their sexual well-being.
Perhaps one of the main reasons
some American youth tend to be
passive about their sexual health is
the fact that they believe that they
would be able to know who is or is
not infected by relying on sight
alone. A recent survey conducted
by Smartersex.org found that 62
percent of men and women think
they can tell if someone has an
STD just by looking at the person,
despite the fact that the two most
common STDs, Chlamydia and
Human Papilloma virus (HPV),
may not show any visible symp
Another factor is that many stu
dents may feel ashamed or embar
rassed about talking to others
about sexual topics. This fear or
shame may keep them from get
ting tested or asking questions that
may prove informative. There are
many reliable resources regarding
sexual health for young people,
such as Smartersex.org aforemen
tioned, which can provide stu
dents with the answers to many
questions and clear up misconcep
tions about sex. One should take
into account that embarrassment
or fear is temporary, but some
STDs are not. These feelings
should not get in the way of stu
Some may also feel that they are
invincible, and they would never
encounter anyone with an STD.
"College students generally have
a low perception of their risk,"
said Chantha Prak, Forsyth
County Health Dept. HIV/NTS
Coordinator. "For instance, some
may say: T use condoms with
some partners, but not others,' 'I
use condoms at the beginning of a
relationship,^ or 'He/she said they
The main way students can
make an effort to ensure they are
being proactive about their sexual
health is to get tested for STDs.
WSSU's A. H. Ray Student Health
Center provides students with free
and confidential HIV and syphilis
testing every other Tuesday of the
month from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.
This service, provided by the
Forsyth County Department of
Public Health, includes pre-test
counseling, testing, and post-test
counseling. The department began
offering HIV/Syphilis testing to
WSSU students in Spring 2002
through its Non-Traditional Offsite
testing program (NTS).
Are students really taking
advantage of this service?
According to Prak, about four stu
dents are tested each visit. "I do
not believe many students are tak
ing advantage of our testing serv
ice. You would think more people
would take advantage of the test,
simply because it is free and confi
dential," Prak said.
She said she believes many
WSSU students do not visit the
Student Health Center to get test
ed because there seems to be a
negative stigma associated with it.
"Some students assume that if you
go to the health center, then you
have 'something,' and usually an
STD comes to mind. Of course,
we know that this is not true.
Other students may not be taking
advantage of testing because they
may not know about our services,"
Prak said. The department is cur
rently working with the Student
Health Center to devise better pro
motion strategies for the testing.
Prak believes that if more stu
dents took advantage of services
such as the ones the department
provides, it would aid in the
decrease in infection rates, but that
is only the first step. She suggests
that students should be more
knowledgeable about their part
ner's sexual history and status
before engaging in sexual activity.
"People have to not only be edu
cated and aware of HIV and STDs,
they have to acknowledge that
what they are doing may be risky.
Too many people think they are
invincible to this virus— that it can
not happen to them. It's not just
the rV drug users, or prostitutes, or
gay men that are at risk for HIV.
It's also those of us who are in a
'supposedly exclusive relationship'
that may also be at risk if we are
not communicating with our part
ners about our past relationships
as well as behaviors," Prak said.
HIV and STD testing is very
important for sexually active stu
dents. "It is very important for stu
dents to get tested, especially if
they are sexually active and not
using condoms every time, simply
because early diagnosis of the HFV
virus is important." Prak said.
"With early diagnosis, people can
live longer and prolong the time
before they develop AIDS by tak
ing antiretroviral medications if
their doctor advises them to, by
incorporating a healthier diet plan,
and by exercising.
"Knowing your HIV status can
also protect other people from get
ting infected. During testing, it
also provides health professionals
the opportunity to speak to each
student individually and to coun
sel them on safer sex and how to
reduce risky behaviors," she said.
Prak advises that students
should respect their bodies, reduce
their number of partners, commu
nicate with their partner(s), use
protection every time, get tested,
and become more educated about
HIV and STDs.
"Someone can look and feel
healthy arid still be'infected ' •
with one or more STDs," Prak -
Locals increase students concern
Photo by Sharrod Patterson
your door can deter an unwanted guest.
Nowadays, it is not just
the student population that
increases on campus,
another population has
also risen: "locals," which
many Rams define as
Winston-Salem city resi
dents who do not attend
University, but who use the
campus as a "hot-spot" or
local hang-out. Because of
the recent burglaries and
thefts that have occurred in
some of the dorms, some
students are concerned
about the uncomfortable
encounters they have had
with locals, while others
are concerned about seem
ingly unsafe visitors loiter
ing on campus.
"You can't tell the differ
ence between the locals
and the ones that aren't
locals, because sometimes
they perpetrate with book
bags like they go to school
here," Amanada Mitchell,
senior nursing major said.
It seems as the campus
grows, so does locals'
accessibility to the campus,
causing a common student
body concern of to how to
keep themselves and their
belongings safe. WSSU
Police Chief William Bell
sent out a campus-wide
memo in October regarding
the issue of safety and the
presence of locals. The
memo had some good tips
for student to help keep
The small chore of locking
themselves and their
"Keep your room door
locked at all times, when
you are inside and when
you are gone," Bell said.
Many students fail to
lock their doors when they
are in their rooms, or leave
their rooms even to go
down the hall for a
"Never leave your door
unlocked, no matter what
you are doing and especial
ly when you go to bed at
night. If you leave the
room and your roommate
is asleep, lock the door
behind yourself," Bell said.
Another way unwanted
locals or visitors get into
buildings is by following
students when they enter
the dorms. "Never allow a
stranger to follow you into
a residence hall when you
enter. This is one main way
locals get access into the
dormitories," Bell said.
Some students leave their
door unlocked because
they or their roommate
misplace their keys. Instead
of paying $75 for another
key, they leave their room
doors open. "Don't be
embarrassed about losing a
key and try to hide it by
leaving your room door
open for one another. If
you lose your key you
should notify housing
immediately," Bell said.
Students should take
every precautious step nec
essary to protect them
selves and their belongings
because responsibility is
During Homecoming, the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
took home first place for best sorority^ step team during the step show.
Congratulations to the ladies of Crimson and Creme.
National Coalition of
Negro Women forms
new WSSU chapter
The Winston-Salem State University Section of the National
Coalition of Negro Women had its first meeting in October.
This new and upcoming organization was inspired by the
vision of Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune in 1935 to uplift and
empower African-American women wdthin the community.
She coined the motto for this organization: "Leave no one
behind." This motto encourages women to bridge the gaps
that exist in communities with a "Unity of Purpose and a
Unity of Action."
The Wmston-Salem Section of NCNW was chartered on
April 10,1973, and members meet the second Tuesday of
each month at 1501 Mt. Zion Place, Wmston-Salem. National
headquarters are at 633 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, D.C.
Crystal Wmston, president of NCNW, says her expecta
tions for NCNW: " being a part of a strong and grounded
organization that empowers women to be better in today's
society. Winston feels that this organization can help women
become strong forces not only in homes, but here on campus
as well as in the commimities.
Candnce Nolan, treasurer, also expresses stiong views
about NCNW says:" Being around a very supportive ambi
tious, active and hard-working group of African-Americans
in my local commimity influenced me to join the NCNW.
The process for joming is simple; fill out an application and
pay the annual national student membership fee of $10 to
Faye Stewart who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out additional information about NCNW contact
Crystal Wmston at email@example.com or Faye Stewart,
Section Liaison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
At this meeting officers for 2006-2007 year were elected.
The Slate of Officers of the NCNW-WSSU Section
(UNC014) is as follows:
Crystal Williams, President
GabrieUe Leonard, 1st Vice President
Michelle Gorham, 2nd Vice President
Katrina Hagan, 3rd Vice President
Jamilah Dixon, Recording/Corresponding Secretary
JaQuinta Smith, Assistant Recording Secretary
Allice Sinclair, Assistant Corresponding Secretary
LaShema Funderburk, Assistant Financial Secretary
Candnce Nolan, Treasurer
Latisha Christensen, Historian
Ladia Rutledge, Parliamentarian
Sharonia EUerby, Chaplain