GVSU students team with Ottawa County Health Dept. to promote safe sex

Posted at 9:34 PM, Jan 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-08 21:34:55-05

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich. -- Since launching in March 2014, the "Wear One" campaign has handed out 75,000 free condoms in Ottawa County. That's according to the Ottawa County Health Department. It's part of their ongoing effort to promote safe sex and educate the public.

Students at Grand Valley State University produced two awareness campaign videos for the department which aims to educate young people ages 18 to 25.

"We can look at the data and look at the numbers, but really having that youth voice behind it is where we're going to see the shift in cultural change in regards to sex and sexuality," Heather Alberda, an AASECT certified sexuality educator with Ottawa County said.

GVSU students also produced a video to promote the health department's STD testing program. The video highlighted chlamydia and Michigan ranking 15th among states for documented cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

As part of the "Wear One" campaign, Alberda said the health department and partnering businesses are passing out a baggie with 10 free condoms and other educational items to promote safe sex.

"There's a card in here that explains our sexual health services; a card that talks about how one actually gets tested for chlamydia. It's a simple urine test, and there's also an educational piece in regards to healthy relationships, talking about consent," Alberda explained.

"It's really about creating a consistent message within our community that we understand people are choosing to be sexually active, and if they're making that choice that they're going to be making a good choice in regards to using condoms every time that they engage in sexual activity to decrease the risk of pregnancy and decrease the risk of sexually transmitted infections," she said.