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Hooking Up Healthy Since 1970

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Sexy Cal Bears Tackle Calapalooza!

Hi Sexy Cal Bears! Its Put It All In Poojan coming at you with summary of my experience at the University’s twice a year occurring event, Calapalooza! It has been a while since I have posted about my experiences of representing SHEP at Cal events and workshops. So where do I start?

First off, this year started super enthusiastic and has kept that ball rolling till now, when it is almost the end of the year. Helping host the SHEP events, our first outreach event was at Calapalooza. Calapalooza is an event here at University of California, Berkeley where many sexy Cal bears can get more information about the many fun organizations and clubs on campus. Since this is a really big university it is easy to get overwhelmed with numerous options, but at calapalooza Cal bears can talk to the representatives of organizations and clubs and gain more insight on which ones are right for them.

Our SHEP table was in lower Sproul area, and we were sharing our space with Kink Club! This collaborative effort was perfect because it attracted more crowds of people. At this event, my primary goal was to not only promote SHEP and Tang Center resources, but it was also to advertise the two SHEP DeCals. I wanted to focus on the DeCals because over the past year I noticed that not many people knew about them, let along our Sex 101: Topics in sexual Health ones.  

Even though the DeCals were not available for this Fall semester, they will be happening in the Spring of 2019. So keep a lookout on the DeCal webpage and the SHEP Facebook page! Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions on how to get involved with SHEP or campus in general.

 

Till next time!

Yours Truly,

Put It All In Poojan

Calapalooza 2011 on Upper and Lower Sproul.

Putnam Tabling Experience

Cunningham-Towle.jpg 

Hello, all you sexy people! This past Halloween Weekend I did a workshop at Unit One, Putnam Hall, where I hosted a tabling event with a fellow health worker discussing the basics of safer sex, sexual health, and birth control.

I had such a fun time facilitating this workshop! Upon entering the building I was greeted by my co-facilitator and we started to set up just inside the entrance of the building. It was a Friday Night of the weekend before Halloween so it was a busy time for the residents coming in and out of the building, changing from their daytime wear and into their costumes for the night’s festivities. At first, not a lot of people were coming up to talk to us, but after about a half an hour of tabling people became less shy and started to talk to us while waiting for the elevator. Pumping our SHEP Playlist we coaxed people to come and check out all the items that they were clearly eyeing on the table. We actually received some great questions about IUDs and vibrators this way!

It was a truly great experience with everyone, and speaking with my co-facilitator after the event, definitely needed. The students who did come up to us showed genuine curiosity and also the impression that they didn’t have that many people to speak on this subject too. Many people after learning about the HIV and Sexpert Education Clinic, showed enthusiastic interest and looked pleasant surprise. After coming to the conclusion that the student would like more exposure to topics such as these, we thought that we might host this event again at the beginning of next semester, maybe when the students are more comfortable with the college lifestyle and fresh from winter break.

  

  • No-Problem Natalie

Meet the STIs

Hey yah Sexy Bears!

 

Its Put It All In Poojan with another super cool article, but this time it’s about STIs spreading across our UC Berkeley campus. This time, not only do I have one article, but I thought it would be cool for y’all to have access to two!

There is one from 2016, which talks about the rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis rising by about 27%, it also features our SHEP Alumni! Click on this link http://www.dailycal.org/2016/11/02/report-shows-increase-cases-sexually-transmitted-diseases-california/ and see what they had to say!

Like I said, I have another article for my fellow Bears. This is also by DailyCal who discuss the ever so rising STI rates on campus, however this one is more recent from 2018. The new rates are increasing, and this time are far more dramatic than those of 2016. Don’t believe me? Check it out yourself at http://www.dailycal.org/2018/05/23/cases-sexually-transmitted-infections-rise-berkeley-across-state/.

 

Till next time!

Much love,

Put It All In Poojan

 

Here is one of the SHEP Campaigns for the rising STI rates!


HIV/Pep/PrEP: What Are These Letters?

Hi y’all! It’s Put It All In Poojan again here with more clarifications and enlightenments, and this time it is about HIV, Pep, and PrEP! Let’s begin with what these random letters stand for: HIV = human immunodeficiency virus, Pep = post-exposure prophylaxis, and PrEP = Pre-exposure prophylaxis.

So what exactly is HIV?

HIV is a virus which is known to attack the CD4+ cells (T-cells) through the 5 fluids such as, blood, vaginal fluids, semen, saliva, and rectal fluids. T-cells activate an immune response to fight various types of diseases As the HIV virus spreads, it kills more and more T-cells, reducing the body’s ability to fight infections. If the virus is left untreated for an extended period of time, it can lead to AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome). AIDS leads to an extremely damaged immune system which can give rise to “opportunistic infections,” meaning that other disease-causing agents can take advantage to the weakened immune system.

Symptoms of HIV

  • Initial infections have Flu-like symptoms – fever, muscle aches, fatigue, headaches, and swollen glands.
  • After, there may not be any symptoms unless the infections has progressed to AIDS.

Treatment for HIV

Since HIV is a type of virus, it cannot be completely removed from the body after exposure. But wait! There’s good news, there are some treatments that is performed to mitigate the effects of HIV, those are HAART (highly active antiretroviral treatment), Pep, and PrEP.

What is PrEP?

This is when people who potentially may have high exposure to HIV infections take HIV medications to lessen the chances of getting infected. This can reduce the chances of getting HIV through sex bu 90% if used as directed, and 70% by sharing needles. PrEP is not a vaccine, it is a medication prescribed by a physician that exposes the body to fight such infections, if they were to occur in the future. This side effects are that it can cause nausea, but that subsides overtime. You should always tell you physician if there are any side effects that last for an extended time. This medication works best if taken as a preventative measure, not a restorative method, that is Pep.

What is Pep?

This means taking ART (antiretroviral treatments) medications which are usually designed to be taken after exposure to HIV. This is a medication which is only prescribed by a physician and should only be taken in emergencies, within 72 hours of potential exposure. The treatment lasts for 28 days and is very effective in controlling effects of HIV, but is not a complete fix.

Stay Safe and Sexy Cal Bears!

Put It All In Poojan

Let’s Not Let STIs Spread!

Hi Sexy Bear! Sexual practices are great and all, but sexual health is crucial to all the pleasurable fun! SHEP cares about you sexy Bears, which is why Sexpert Put It All In Poojan is here with information about STI prevention!

Let’s make one things clear: prevention is not the same thing as treatment. Prevention is avoiding contracting STIs, treatment is getting rid of the STIs you many have contracted. Here’s the breakdown of transmission and prevention strategies of commonly found STIs:

  1. Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and Trichomoniasis can all be transmitted through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. They can also be transmitted from the mother’s infected fluids into the baby’s eyes during birth.
    1. Prevention for all can be by using safer sex methods such as condoms, dental dams, or other barriers.
  2. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) can be transmitted by anal, vaginal, oral, or any type of skin-to-skin contact which has an infected fluid involved, such as sharing sex toys without using condoms, genital rubbing, etc.
    1. Prevention – getting HPV vaccines, using safer sex methods such as condoms, dental dams, or other barriers.
  3. Herpes can be transmitted by any skin-to-skin contact, regardless of whether sores are present or if the person is asymptomatic.
    1. Prevention – using safer sex methods such as condoms, dental dams, or other barriers at all times. The risk of spreading genital herpes can be reduced if the infected person avoids sexual activity when there is an active outbreak, uses condoms at all times, and uses suppressive therapy with antiviral medications.
  4. HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B can be transmitted through vaginal and anal sex, sharing infected needles, from mother to child during pregnancy or breastfeeding, or any other direct exposure to infected bodily fluids.
    1. Prevention – using condoms or other barrier methods, avoiding injected drug use, sharing needles or any other personal items with bodily fluids. IF YOU ARE INFECTED, YOU CANNOT DONATE BLOOD.
  5. Molluscum Contagiosum is transmitted by any skin-to-skin contact or by sharing items that may have bodily fluids on them such as towels.
    1. Prevention – using condoms or other barrier methods, and not sharing items with bodily fluids.
  6. Scabies and  Pubic Lice are transmitted by sexual contact or sharing infected belongings.
    1. Prevention – avoid contact with anyone who is infected.

 

If you are able to protect yourself from them, they why not actually do it, yah feel me? My wish is to persuade you to “wrap it before you tap it” to practice safer sex strategies which will help mitigate exposure to STIs.

 

Till next time, yours truly,

Put It All In Poojan

 

Safer sex methods are the answer to you prayers 😉

SHEP Meets Kappa Kappa Gamma!

IMG_0044.jpgWelcome back to SHEP Talk, sexy bears! It’s Clitty Crystal, reporting to YOU! Last Monday, I had the honor of presenting to the amazing sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma! Annie, a health worker from the Tang Center, requested a bunch of sexy topics to talk about, such as consent, birth control, barrier methods, and accessing these resources. Honestly, I was super excited but nervous because 1.) I’ve never been in a sorority house before so let’s just say I had my own debut and 2.) I had no idea what to expect from a group of 70 people. How would they respond to the information I was presenting? Would they participate? Would our personalities mesh?

Literally all my concerns went out the window when I entered the room and saw all their shy but excited faces! Annie was so pumped about co-facilitating the event and nailed all her slides on consent (Kappa Kappa Gamma is super well versed in consent and I was basking in every single second of it!) During the presentation, participation was sky high with so many people having so many questions and comments about everything, especially the internal condom. A majority of them has never heard of or seen it before, and their eyes widened when I pulled one out to demonstrate how to insert it.

Image result for internal condom

Their curiosity guided most of the presentation and I couldn’t have wished for a better audience. At the end of the day, a lot of the members received goodies like condoms, lube, and lollipops. Thanks for inviting SHEP and we can’t wait to see what y’all have planned for the future!

Protozoan Sexually Transmitted Infections

Protozoan sexually transmitted infections are caused by parasitic exposure derived from sexual activity.

This blog will explore the different types of protozoan STIs which will include general information of each infection.

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis also known as “trich” is a common sexually transmitted infection that infects roughly around 7 to 8 million people in the United States each year. Trich derives from the protozoan parasite, Trichomonas vaginalis, which is transmitted through penis-to-vagina and vulva-to-vulva intercourse or through an exchange of infected bodily fluids. Condom use and other barrier methods may reduce your risk of acquiring Trich. Trich mainly affects people with vaginas but people with penises are also at risk. Most people do not experience symptoms, symptoms may appear within a month after exposure. Symptoms vary greatly and may include pain during sex, genital irritation, genital discharge, discomfort while urinating or ejaculating, and swelling of the affected areas. Trich can be easily treated with prescription medication.

Scabies

Scabies is caused by an infestation of human itch mite that affects over 1 million people in the United States each year. The mite bury themselves in the upper layers of human skin where it nests and lays eggs. Scabies can be easily spread through skin-to-skin contact and sexual contact with infected individuals. Symptoms appear within a month after exposure which may include severe itching, the formation of lesions, rashes, and irritated skin. Scabies can be easily treated with prescription medications known as scabicides.

Pubic Lice

Pubic Lice commonly referred to as ‘crabs’ affects over 2 million people in the United States each year. Crabs derives from parasitic mite called nits that nest in pubic hair and consume human blood. Often spread through sexual contact, condoms may be ineffective given the nature of the affected areas (pubic hair versus genitals). Pubic lice can live off the human body for 24 hours which means that any potentially infected clothes, towels, and bed sheets may expose you to crabs to which these items must be washed in very hot water while undergoing treatment. The most noticeable symptom of crabs consists of extreme itchiness of the pubic or genital area within the last 5 days of exposure. Other symptoms may include the formation of blue spots on bitten areas and can spread to other parts of the body that have some sort of body hair. Crabs can be easily treated through over-the-counter medicinal lotions and shampoos.

Please remember that if you have any questions or concerns please feel free to drop in and check out our Sexpert Education Clinic. This is held every Friday from 12-3pm on the 2nd floor of the Tang Center at Health Promotion, where you can meet one-on-one with a Healthy Sexuality peer-educator to get more information and resources.

SHEP Services

Hey Y’all!

This month’s sexy theme is STI’s! For some of you, this may not seem like a very sexy topic but it’s important to acknowledge that they may potentially be apart of any sexual experience that does not include safer sex practices. To help fight against the risk of STIs, it’s important to know about the resources available to you and how to use them. One of these resources is UC Berkeley’s very own Sexpert Education Clinic! Located on the 2nd floor of the Tang Center, students can come to ask questions on a plethora of sex-related topics on the first three Fridays of every month from 2-3pm.

For a more comprehensive look at what the Sexpert Education Clinic can cover:

  • Consent
  • Birth Control (Pill, Patch, Ring, IUDs, Implant, Shot)
  • Emergency Contraception
  • Sexual Debuts
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Communication
  • Sexual Pleasure and Toys
  • Sexual Anatomy and Pleasure Physiology
  • Harm Reduction
  • Relationship Types (Polyamorous, Monogamous, Non-monogamous)
  • Sexual Identities (Queer, Straight, Bi-Sexual, Asexual)
  • STIs

While we offer peer counseling on many of these topics, please feel free to approach a sexpert in Clinic with a topic not listed above. We are committed to helping the Berkeley community achieve sexual wellness and with that Sexperts are constantly learning about new topics.

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STIs on the Rise Among College-Aged Individuals

     OMG GYT

The goal of the Sexual Health Education Program is to incorporate inclusive comprehensive sexual health education for harm reduction purposes. Just within the last 5 years, the State of California has experienced a significant rise in sexually transmitted infection cases. In 2015, California had the highest number of cases reported in California history. The most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection cases included syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. According to the Sexually Transmitted Disease Surveillance Report, led by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, described that individuals who fall within the 15 to 24 years old age group accounted for more than 70% of chlamydia cases and more than 50% of gonorrhea cases. Furthermore, the report noted that the number of female identified individuals who received a syphilis diagnoses more than doubled in 2015.

The Center for Disease and Control and Prevention emphasized college-aged individuals and LGBTQ+ college-aged populations as groups most at risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections. Health and sexual education courses are one of the most natural and common classes in which students can learn about LGBTQ+ topics in a positive attitude. Unfortunately, less than 5% of LGBTQ+ students were taught LGBTQ topics in a positive way in publicly funded health classes. To make matters worse, there are currently 8 states that prohibit public schools from providing any sexual health information. A lack of access to comprehensive sexual health education fosters negative health outcomes and health disparities. The Sexual Health Education Program firmly believes in the power harnessed by inclusive comprehensive sexual health information to enable all of us to thrive together, as a community.

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