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‘Breaking those barriers:’ What you should know about Sexual Health Week at Fennell Campus

Nov. 6 marked the start of Mohawk College’s first Sexual Health Week, which was organized by the Health and Wellness Centre.  

The week featured events ranging from information sessions about different contraception methods to a cookie painting class where students could ask questions about healthy relationships and consent. 

Jessalyn Carvajal, supervisor of health promotion at the Health and Wellness Centre on the Fennell campus, said Sexual Health Week is an initiative to remove the taboo surrounding sexual health and education. 

“The Health and Wellness Centre really wants to ensure that we’re breaking those barriers around stigma and talking about sexual health,” Carvajal said. “Because sexual health should be something that’s included in routine care, just like how you would go to a dentist.” 

The main event of the week was Pee for Pizza, which was run in partnership with the MSA and Hamilton Public Health. Students lined up to complete a free STI [sexually transmitted infection] test, with no health card required, and then receive a free slice of pizza. 

“They have done Pee for Pizza a lot in the States [USA] so we brought it here with [Hamilton] Public Health,” Carvajal said. “It’s just a really great way to entice people and get people a little more comfortable about coming out and having a little more casual experience with STI testing.” 

Ben Stacy, a student in the Network Systems program who discovered the event after passing by with friends, said initiatives like Sexual Health Week are important in spreading awareness among students. 

“[The events] get people more aware about STIs and sexual health in general, because not a lot of people are really conscious of that,” Stacy said. 

In an effort to continue promoting good sexual education, the Health and Wellness Centre launched its new information service, Sex in the Dark, at the beginning of Sexual Health Week.

Throughout the week, the Sex in the Dark cart could be found throughout campus promoting the events, as well as the new Sex in the Dark platform.

“Sex in the Dark is our new anonymous online platform for students to submit questions about sex,” Carvajal said. “We’re trying to break that stigma and create a safe space for students to ask questions.” 

Questions submitted by students will be answered on a bi-weekly basis by the centre’s ‘sexpert’ team of registered health professionals. A link to Sex in the Dark question portal can be found in the bio of the Health and Wellness Centre’s Instagram page. 

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