In an effort to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted infections amid the student population, the Student Health center pharmacy has begun selling inexpensive condoms to students on campus.
Students can purchase 10 condoms for $2 ($0.20 each) at the SHC pharmacy, which is cheaper than most retail pharmacies that sell condoms for about $0.80 each, according to SHC programming coordinator Michelle Lovering.
This is the first semester the health center on campus has sold condoms directly to students, which typically only provided birth control options to students with a prescription. The decision was made by the Student Health center in a movement to promote students’ sexual health and prevent sexually transmitted infections, HIV/AIDS and pregnancy.
“Having condoms available at the SHC pharmacy reduces the hassle of finding accessible and affordable condoms on campus,” said Denis Irby, SHC pharmacists. “The accessibility of low cost condoms will hopefully lead to more consistent condom use and less serious consequences for students,” she continued.
The Student Health center is located on the corner of Ave. J and 16th street, behind the Estill and King Halls. The center has an in-house pharmacy where the condoms can be purchased.
While the SHC sees the selling of condoms as necessary for disease prevention, students are having thoughts of their own about the endorsement of birth control on campus. Some students believe that the idea of affordable condoms being sold on campus supports promiscuity
“It encourages sexual activity,” said a student who wishes to have her name printed as Cassy. “I understand the whole safe-sex deal, but I believe sex is for marriage, making condoms available on campus condones the idea that it’s ok, and I don’t agree with that.”
On the other hand, several students believe that low-cost condoms on-campus is a respectable idea because it advocates unproblematic safe sex options. Putting personal views aside, they supported the idea of having the option of reasonably priced birth control within reach.
“It’s probably a good idea. Contraception is better than no contraception,” said senior Liz Jackson. “I am a supporter of getting away from abstinence-only sex education. Having [condoms] available isn’t condoning anything; it’s helping the prevention of sexually transmitted infections and unwanted pregnancy,” said Jackson.
Whether or not the selling of inexpensive condoms on-campus condones sexual activity, the Student Health Center is addressing the rising number of sexually transmitted infections and taking a step forward to actively protect students who lead a sexual lifestyle.