Naked Truth: Sexual health seminar plans to inform women on positive sexual relationship

By Kallie Cox, Staff Reporter

There will be a sexual health for women seminar Tuesday, Sept. 18, at 5 p.m., in the Student Center Ohio room.

The seminar was organized by Rebecca Gonnering, confidential adviser with the university, and Dr. Lanel Love, assistant director of the multicultural resource center.

“This event is important because it connects students to resources and professional staff on campus,” Love said. “And it will inform women on how to have a positive sexual relationship.”

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The seminar will be led by Belainesh Nigeda, a graduate student assistant with the Student Health Center.

“I plan to talk about sexual health and decision making,” Nigeda said. “Topics that I will be discussing include empowerment, abstinence, consent, condom usage, birth control options, STI prevention, and STI testing.”

Nigeda said she hopes students who attend the seminar get the information they need to make informed decisions about their overall health and their sex lives.

Gonnering said she helped organize the event because it is important for everybody to have basic information about their sexual health, so they can have the information they need, if and when they decide to be sexually active.

“We know that not all students are sexually active while they are in college,” Gonnering said. “But even if you are abstinent, just having this basic information available to you [is important], so that you can make informed decisions when you decide to be sexually active.”

Nigeda said if there is one message she could get across to students who attend this seminar, it would be that sexual health is a part of self-care.

“It is important that students on campus get accurate information about sexual health as it pertains to them,” Nigeda said. “Some people have never had a serious conversation about sex with their parents, and as a result, the information that they have received is from the internet or their friends.”

Nigeda said it is important students have accurate information about sexual health and the resources available to them on campus.

“Any SIU student can attend this event,” Nigeda said. “However, it is focused specifically on women’s sexual health. As an African American woman, I think it is important that women of color attend as I will be sharing information about health issues that disproportionately affect us.”

Gonnering said the Wellness Center offers free condoms and lubrication, confidential counseling, and education, such as this seminar, to students and the community.

Nigeda said any group on campus can request a presentation from the Wellness center about sexual health.

Love said her goal is to have events on this topic for women at least once a year. She said she hopes the event will empower women to make informed decisions about their sexual health.

Staff reporter Kallie Cox can be reached at kcox@dailyegyptian.com or on Twitter at @KallieC45439038.

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