Let’s Talk About Sex (and Intimacy)

Blog
Along with what seems to be a never-ending amount of snow, the middle of February brings the tidal wave of Valentine’s Day. Jewelry commercials, condom ads, specials on dinners for two at your favorite local restaurants, markups on chocolate, and heart shaped everything…seriously everything. From early ages we are socialized to see the need for romantic relationships during this time of year. Every year elementary students wait eagerly to see who put valentines in their hand decorated boxes in the classroom. Society puts such pressure on the need for romantic partnerships and their tie to self-worth. As we mature, those eagerly awaited paper valentines tend to become replaced with the idea that romanticism and intimacy are tied to sex.  This begs the question, is sex the only form of intimacy?…
Read More

February is Condom Month!

Blog
Many people use condoms as a way to prevent unintended pregnancies, but condoms also provide a low-cost, incredibly effective barrier against sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that are exchanged by genital fluids. Some examples of such STIs include gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, and HIV. [Please note: Many people use STI and STD interchangeably, however some healthcare settings are moving toward using STI more regularly. An STI refers to the infection of a particular virus or bacteria, while STD is the same pathogen once it has progressed to a disease. They essentially refer to different phases of an infection. You can find a more detailed description of the differences here.] In 2016, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) estimated that 45 million HIV infections have been averted through condom…
Read More

Goal Setting in the New Year

Blog
by Dr. Chelsea Graziano, Assistant Director of Case Management New Year, New You. Right? As December 2020 came to a close, many of us had high hopes for a new beginning to 2021. However, it seems like 2021 still leaves a lot to be desired. The approach of New Year’s Day signals the finish line of the previous year and the starting point of the year to come. Many of us will use that theoretical milestone to make changes in our lives. New Year’s Resolutions, aptly named goals that we resolve to complete by the year’s end, are a major tradition for many people around the world. I am sure that many of you have already begun to think about your goals for the upcoming trip around the sun. But…
Read More

Your Guide to PrEP

Blog
Today there are more ways than ever to prevent HIV transmission, including abstinence (not having sex), refraining from sharing needles and other injection drug equipment, and using condoms correctly every time you have sex. You may have also heard about PrEP, a type of medication that can help prevent HIV transmission. If you are still uncertain about what PrEP is or if it might be right for you, we’ve complied this guide to help inform your decision. What is PrEP? Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a daily medication that helps prevent HIV transmission from sex and/or injection drug use. Is it effective? When it comes to sex, PrEP can reduce the risk of contracting HIV by about 99% when taken correctly and consistently. PrEP also reduces the risk of HIV transmission…
Read More

Creative Ways to Counter Loneliness While Social Distancing

Blog
by Dr. Chelsea Graziano, Assistant Director of Case Management The holiday season is usually a time of the year that is marked with social gatherings, large celebratory dinners, and physical closeness with family and friends. However, the current holiday season has been very different. Social distancing measures have significantly changed holiday plans and traditions for many of us. Being unable to be around our loved ones during the holiday season can cause us to feel disconnected. Although the goal of social distancing is to keep us healthy and reduce the spread of COVID-19, physical isolation from those we care about can lead to loneliness. Feelings of loneliness can have a negative impact on both our mental health and our physical health. Humans are social beings by nature; our brains are…
Read More