Editor, Daily Nexus:

UC-STD. Heard that one before? From an external point of view, UCSB students do not have a great reputation, but someone on our campus is working to change that stigma. Trained through Student Health and Soc. 91A, Sexual Health Peers are exactly what their name implies: your friends and fellow students, who are increasing sexual education, increasing awareness of what constitutes risky behavior, and helping students find the resources they need for better health. Perhaps you’ve seen us around campus during our quarterly Condom Alerts: We’re the ones in bright orange t-shirts passing out free condoms. We also give many presentations to different campus groups and dorms on topics ranging from sex under the influence to AIDS. Having education and resources readily available for those who are making health-related choices is how we fulfill our purpose; we do not encourage sex (abstinence is still the safest and most-effective form of birth control and STD prevention), nor do we cater to only one sexual orientation. Sexual health issues affect many aspects of campus life, and by talking about them, we may be able to prevent further transmission of sex-related diseases or unwanted pregnancies in the long run. Sexual Health Peers are a valuable resource here at the university, and this week, hopefully you will pay more attention to the choices you make as we kick off our Sexual Health Awareness Week (May 21-25). I, for one, am glad I can make a difference in the health and choices of students at our school. For more information or for presentations, please contact Student Health Services at 893-2630.