According to the Center for Disease Control, young people between the ages of 13 and 24 accounted for 22 percent of all new HIV cases in 2015. The Valley AIDS Council is urging spring breakers to take the risks of STDs seriously during their break.
Unprotected sex increases the risk of sexually transmitted diseases which is why experts remind spring breakers to be fully aware of their actions.
Spring break is the time when students want to have a good time – sometimes engaging in risky behaviors. While no one wants to take away the fun, experts want to remind everyone to practice safe sex.
Oscar Lopez of the Valley AIDS Council says, “now is the time to get those condoms, throw them in your suitcase, along with your sun tan lotion and your bikini and take them to the island with you and protect yourself. Because two weeks later you don’t want to worry that you’ve caught something.”
Lopez adds the number of people seeking help at their clinics increases significantly two weeks after spring break is over.
“Our numbers spike. In terms of not only how many people want to get tested, but how many people are coming in worried that they’re pregnant, or worried that they’ve caught something,” Lopez continued.
Abstinence is the only sure way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, but if you do engage in sexual activity – protection is key.
“Don’t let whoever you’re with judge you for wanting to protect yourself, whether you’re a male or female, And, stick to your guns, like, ‘I’m going to cover up myself, literally, and going to protect myself against all these things,'” Lopez concluded.
You can visit the Valley AIDS Council website for more information on free services – including tests and treatment.