Sex Issue: GW offers condoms, care, counseling for students

Correction appended

College-aged students are often steaming with questions about sex. How to do it? How to be safe? And what happens when something goes wrong?

While this article won’t address the “how to” – we have sex columnists for that – it will give students a look at different sex resources on campus, from where to get tested to what to do if you have questions about sexuality.

If you think you have an STD:

Last week, the Student Health Service offered free HIV and reduced-cost gonorrhea and chlamydia tests for students. SHS annually offers testing for sexually transmitted infections in the Marvin Center and also provides testing at its offices by appointment.

The office is part of a network of resource centers – including the University Counseling Center, the LGBT Resource Center and the University Police Department – that students can go to with their sex issues.

If you are a victim of sexual assault:

Associate Director of SHS Susan Haney said the office refers students to the UCC or to sexual assault nurse examiners when students report sexual assault.

“We do provide initial counseling and then refer [students] to the University Counseling Center or mental health professionals in the community,” Haney said.

Erin Harpine, UPD coordinator for Victims Services and Educational Initiatives, said she works with survivors of violence to help them better understand “the medical, reporting and legal options, and resources and referrals for a client reporting an incident.”

If you are confused about your sexual relationships or sexuality:

Besides providing therapy for victims of sexual assault, the University Counseling Center offers help with “difficulties [in] sexual relationships,” psychiatrist Gretchen Wilber said.

Wilber said she consults regularly with other GW agencies to “discuss current student trends and alternative ways of meeting students’ needs on campus.”

Freshmen can also turn to house proctors, who have been extensively trained in many topics including “health, sexual health and identity,” GW Housing Programs House Life Program Director Andrew Goretsky said.

Incoming house proctors attend a resource fair where GW offices offer training to deal with sex issues. Proctors are also given an idea of the resources available and know where to refer students if they need condoms.

For students who are afraid to go to the University with their sexuality questions, student groups like Allied in Pride provide educational and informational sessions for students.

“We work very intimately with every department in GW,” Allied President Michael Komo said.

Correction appended (April 8, 2010)

The article originally stated that house proctors are supplied with condoms.

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