Writing on the Bathroom Wall

July 23, 2010

HPV PSA on Bathroom WallYou’ve seen writing on a bathroom wall that says things, like “Jenny and Jesse together forever.” But how often do you see writing that gets you thinking about something serious, like a sexually transmitted disease (STD)?

Well, a few weeks ago, I went to a concert at PNC Bank Arts Center only to find that the girls’ bathroom had posters on the stalls with facts about human papillomavirus (HPV). Some strains of HPV can cause genital warts and others are linked to an increased risk of cervical cancer. It was really great to see information about HPV. I read some of the HPV facts and then chose my bathroom stall. On the inside of the stall, there was another, smaller poster with a tip about HPV that read, “Condoms may not fully protect against HPV.” After seeing that, I then noticed the little conversation going on about the poster. Someone had written, “Suck d**k!! It’s safer!!” and then another person wrote “Not really—what about HIV?”

The conversation on the bathroom wall got me thinking, so when I got home I did some research about HPV and condoms. I found out that viruses, such as HPV or herpes, can be spread through skin-to-skin contact. That means that areas that aren’t covered by a condom during sex can leave you at risk. Also, when a condom is used correctly, it can protect you from getting HIV, which is not spread from skin-to-skin contact. In essence, using a condom does reduce your chances of getting infections, so you should always be safe and use one.

So, the next time you are thinking about writing something on a bathroom wall, make sure you know what you’re talking about, especially when it comes to important topics like STDs.

—Colleen Tierney, 17, Staff Writer

Posted In: HIV/AIDS & STDs
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