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Q: When do I need an HPV vaccine? A: Human papillomavirus is a common viral infection that most often occurs via skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity. Many infected people never have any symptoms, and the virus often clears from the system on its own. In others, HPV will cause symptoms including genital warts or precancerous lesions in the genital area that may lead to cancer. All of the available vaccines protect uninfected people against types...

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Q: How can I stay safe in college hookup culture? A: According to sociologist Lisa Wade, “In colleges, ‘hookup culture’ refers to the idea that casual sexual encounters are the best or only way to engage sexually; and the concept also refers to rules of social interaction that facilitate casual sexual encounters and organizational arrangements that support these encounters.” According to Wade’s research, about a quarter of students thrive in this culture, at least at first,...

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Q: Can oral sex transmit STIs? Should I use condoms for oral sex? A: When the mouth and tongue are healthy and without cuts or sores, the chance of getting a sexually transmitted infection (STI) through oral sex is uncommon, though possible. Trauma in the mouth presents a ready passage-way for viruses or bacteria to enter the bloodstream. Unless you’re 100 percent sure that your partner’s sexual history is clear, it’s a good idea to...

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Q: Why does the darker circle around the nipple exist? Why do some people have extra nipples? A: Just like with breasts, there’s no one way that nipples are supposed to look. Both nipples and areolas (the circular skin around your nipple) come in different sizes and colors, from light pink to brownish black. The color of your nipples usually relates to your skin color. Nipples may have hair, stick out, be inverted, etc! Some...

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Q: Are there forms of male birth control? A: There are several methods of male-directed contraception being developed and tested in clinical trials all over the world. However, none are currently available to the general public. The road is being paved, but men may have to wait several years before any viable methods reach the market place. A few of the methods being investigated include: 1. Hormonal contraceptives: Pills, implants, and/or shots, using male hormones...

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Q: What are the costs of birth control if obtained through student health services? Which birth control is most effective? A: According to TU Health Services, students can receivea  prescription for birth control, but need to see one of the university physicians. The charge to see the physician is $20.  Depending on the patient’s age and other factors, laboratory testing may be necessary and other small feels may apply.  Most insurance will cover the testing...

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Q: Safe sex between two females? How? What precautions? A: Women who have sex with women (WSW), can have mouth-to-genital, mouth-to-anal, hand-to-genital, or toy-to-genital interactions. Although WSW have lower risk of being diagnosed with certain STI’s than their heterosexual counterparts (i.e. HIV), there are still some risks involved. Infections can still be passed in a number of ways, including through skin-to-skin contact, contact with vaginal fluids or menstrual blood, and through shared use of sex...

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Q: How can you identify if you’ve ever had sex? What counts? A: The short answer is that sex can mean many different things to many different people. There’s not one universal definition of sex but a variety of perspectives. Sex has a history of being defined somewhat narrowly, centering on traditional cultural and religious norms and heterosexual practices. Some may initially learn to define sex strictly as vaginal and penile intercourse. A more inclusive...