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Student Pharmacist

Written by student pharmacists for student pharmacists, Student Pharmacist magazine provides the latest on career preparation, leadership, legislative activities and advocacy efforts, patient care projects, APhA–ASP Chapter innovations, life on rotation, tips from new practitioners, and more.

Chapter committee focused on sexual health education
Jamila Negatu
/ Categories: Student Magazine

Chapter committee focused on sexual health education

The Temple University team never misses a chance to provide sexual health information to the community.

By Alyssa Snyder and Eliza Totsky

The Sexual Health Committee within Temple University School of Pharmacy’s APhA–ASP Chapter is unique in that it is one of the few to exist amongst APhA as a whole. In addition, sexual health is a prevalent public health concern in Philadelphia, giving us an opportunity to make a substantial impact in our community. 

We have educated our community on sexual health topics such as safe sex practices, prevention of the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, birth control, and HIV education/prevention. As the demographic surrounding Temple University is largely college-aged students and an underprivileged population,  this sexual health education reaches a community that can directly use the information that we provide. 

A diverse audience

Within our committee, we strive to host events throughout each school year that feature wide-ranging topics to capture the attention of our diverse audience. We are particularly fond of our efforts that focus specifically on women’s health. In the past, our committee has participated in holding women’s hygiene drives, where many items such as feminine hygiene products, makeup, clothing, or gift cards are collected from our students and faculty. We hold the drives at our pharmacy school and all donations are given to a local women’s shelter in Philadelphia. The success of this event has inspired us to continue to host this initiative annually. 

Another way we try to reach women is by holding poster events about birth control. The vast number of women that are unfamiliar with how to properly use birth control gives us an opportunity to make a large impact in the area of sexual health education. We host events using visual aids that make the subject less intimidating and easier to understand, such as poster boards that showcase information about different birth control methods. We also distribute handouts with further information that the women can take home and read or keep for reference. 

Making it fun

In a college campus setting, it is important that we make our outreach experiences fun and interactive. A tool we have used to help us accomplish this task includes a game where trivia questions about different sexual health topics correlate with a spinning color wheel. The participant spins the wheel and the question they receive corresponds with the color indicated by the wheel. We find that this is a great way to gauge how much our community knows about sexual health, and hope that students learn something new in the process. Plus, they get free candy and condoms just for participating! 

World AIDS Day 2018

This year, we are looking forward to continuing our HIV awareness and prevention initiative by participating in World AIDS Day on December 1. In the past, we partnered up with a local HIV testing center that focuses on LGBTQ health and wellness to bring their HIV testing truck to Temple’s main campus. Students interested in being tested were able to do so by entering the truck for privacy. The volunteers from the center conduct the private test right inside the truck, and students are able to leave knowing their results. 

Embracing our calling

Overall, our APhA–ASP Chapter is so grateful to have the opportunity to reach out to the community about sexual health. Every event has been a rewarding experience, as we know that reaching out to just one person has the potential to change a life. We hope that other chapters across the country will find a passion for this crucial topic in health care, and perhaps start far-reaching and innovative initiatives of their own. 

There is a need for sexual health education no matter where we may be, and if we all work together and embrace our calling to serve our communities through outreach, the impact will be extraordinary. 

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