Condom Carnival tackles sexual health at Hopkins

By AASHNA SUNDESHA | October 18, 2018

PUBLIC DOMAIN Condom Carnival highlighted resources available at Health and Wellness Center.

Preventative Education and Empowerment for Peers (PEEPs) hosted their Condom Carnival on the Freshman Quad on Friday, Oct. 12. The event featured carnival-style games and free popcorn in order to spread awareness about sexual health.

Nancy Zhang, one of the organizers for the event, said that the Condom Carnival was the last of the three events PEEPs had hosted that week. The other events were focused on self-care, proper diet and nutrition.

She said that she hoped the carnival-style setup would interest students.

“We wanted something that would be fun, that would get a lot of people,” Zhang said. 

Freshmen Mehak Ali noticed that many students who came were freshmen and participated in activities such as succulent planting and a balloon dart toss. 

“I chose to attend this event because it looked intriguing with the balloons and succulents and I wanted to learn more about the Hopkins campus,“ Ali wrote in an email to The News-Letter.

Freshman Niki Trivedi mentioned that she was intrigued by the concept of the Condom Carnival in an email to The News-Letter.

“It was a creative and engaging way to talk about sexual health,” she wrote.

Organizer Caroline Pribble expressed her concern about students’ awareness of sexual health resources on campus. She explained that a lot of students use the Health and Wellness Center when they get sick, but they have no idea that they can get sexually-transmitted infection (STI) testing there. 

“A lot of people who came by the event today had no idea what resources were even offered at Student Health and Wellness,” she said.

Pribble believes that students are not aware of these resources because these resources are not very visible or are not talked about enough. She suggested that this could lead students to believe that there are not many solutions available for them when they run into issues regarding their sexual health. 

“We just assumed that we’re [at] Hopkins, people are well-educated, there’s a great public health school down the road. We thought that our numbers would be good,” she said. “When in reality people weren’t using condoms, and people weren’t behaving in healthy sexual behaviors at all.”

Ali suggested that emailing students or putting up posters or flyers about sexual resources and sexual health facts could lead to more discussion about the topic. 

“I think a primary issue on campus is the...stigma associated with sexual health,” she wrote.

She believes that there are some ways in which the University can facilitate these conversations around topics like sexual health. 

“I think Hopkins can improve sexual health on campus by having more casual events like these throughout the year,” she wrote.

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