According to the Sun Times, Atlanta, a local newspaper, the Metro Atlanta area is the new center of an HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) epidemic with the increase in HIV diagnoses rose to an alarming one in 51 Atlanta residents, male and female alike.
Some believe that the spread of HIV is just a matter of nonverbal communication with partners. Further that most men that were diagnosed with HIV or AIDS within the past four years received the disease from a homosexual partner, and as a consequence of no communication, women were given the virus through heterosexual intercourse with a man. But, the issue is not simply one of sexual orientation.
Atlanta, GA is a perfect example for positive socialization of sex at K. In my opinion, the epidemic should spark a fire for us to, here at K, be open to any form of sexual communication. A negative stigma surrounding STI’s on campus needs to be broken so that partners feel comfortable explaining situations and precautions.
Not only do K students need to work to deconstruct negative stigmas about STIs on campus, but also understand the personal aspect of it. STIs are a personal matter that do deserve confidentiality, and once the stigma on campus lessens, it won’t be a “pressing topic of gossip” to spread about. I hope STIs will be seen on K’s campus as a thing that does happen, but it does not define a person or give further implications about that person’s lifestyle.
When this happens on a small scale like K, hopefully the ideal of deconstructing stigmas about STIs will spread to a more global scale. Maybe then will we start to see sexual health epidemics decrease.