News Release

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Miami University
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Young Adults' Sex Isn't Safe Enough

02/07/1998

Asking your sexual partner if s/he is having sex with someone else is good communication, but it’s not enough to protect yourself, says a Miami University health educator.

College students lie so often about sexual infidelity that their sexual partners risk infection by sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, even when they think they’ve asked the right questions.

What it boils down to is that "a condom may be safer than trust," says Dr. Reginald Fennell, professor of health education at Miami.

In the National College Health Risk Behavior Survey published last fall, 86 percent of students reporting having had sexual intercourse.

In a January article in Peer Educator magazine, Fennell cites studies from 1990-1993 showing anywhere from 21-43 percent of sexually active students cheated on their partners and/or would never disclose a single episode of infidelity.

"Being sexually responsible means being comfortable asking about sexually transmitted diseases, protecting yourself, and being a positive role model for peers," says Fennell.

Dr. Fennell is president of the Ohio College Health Association. He has won awards for his service to the field of health and HIV education.

He can be reached at 513-529-3226(o) or fennelr@muohio.edu.

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