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Healthy Is Hot!

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Healthy is Hot was founded in May of 2017 in response to lack of reproductive healthcare access on Saint Louis University’s campus. A spark was ignited in our co-founders when, last year, Student Government Association passed a bill to allow contraceptives to be provided by the University Health Center without medical need, and the administration vetoed it. Healthy is Hot became a concept as a result. Though our organization is comprised of SLU students and serves SLU students, it is independent from Saint Louis University. Healthy is Hot’s mission is to achieve reproductive justice through comprehensively educating students, increasing visibility of resources, breaking down barriers to access, and providing students with a place to unite for change. Ultimately, we seek to create and promote a safer-sex campus community.

We truly welcome the perspectives of students of all healthcare ideologies and strive to serve students who represent diverse identities, as well as sexual wellness values. While we recognize that some choose abstinence and respect this personal choice fully, we only educate on abstinence to the extent that it’s being practiced in our community. Because roughly 75% of SLU’s student body is sexually active, as determined by our survey of nearly 600 students, we seek to combat the harm fostered by abstinence-only, fear-based, heteronormative, and cisnormative sexual ideologies. We do this by providing objective information and resources to help all individuals evaluate their personal beliefs and confidently make the personal healthcare decisions that are best for them.

Our survey, conducted in May of 2017, indicated that less than half of sexually-active students had ever been tested for an STD, and upon meeting with the Student Health Center, they confirmed that STD tests cannot be provided on campus unless they are specifically ordered by a physician—an astounding, correlated pair of statements, confirmed by the fact that 87% of students said that they would get tested if it were more accessible. Additionally, the majority of SLU students we surveyed did not feel adequately educated about alternate organizations from which to receive sexual healthcare or how utilizing them may interact with their insurance policies. Many expressed anger over their inability to access contraceptives—from birth control pills to condoms—on campus. In fact, 85% of our survey respondents indicated that they believed that contraceptives should be more accessible on SLU’s campus. A small percentage of others believed that it is the right of the university to withhold these resources from students. Regardless of this debate, we have concluded that the policies of SLU are an immense barrier to access to adequate reproductive healthcare for the student population.

With the lack of discussion around sexual wellness on SLU’s campus because of its Catholic, Jesuit, and private affiliation, we truly believe that the information and resources we provide are vital for all students. The existence of Healthy is Hot creates a common ground by not attempting to force the university to provide certain resources but still making them extremely accessible for students. Some of our initiatives include the creation of a depoliticized guide to resources on our website and distribution of our safer sex handouts, which include a condom, lube, a Healthy is Hot sticker, and additional information—from locations that provide free and confidential STD testing to how to convert a condom into a dental dam. We serve those who are not sexually active or have chosen abstinence as well, as our website provides educational posts from a variety of perspectives that are designed to inform any and all students. Healthy is Hot is committed to serving all students and their needs, recognizing and validating differences in faith, gender, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and other identities.

For condoms, sex ed, merchandise, and additional information, visit our website at www.healthyishotstl.wixsite.com/website and check out our Instagram at @healthyishot.stl! Our leadership team is extremely accessible through our e-mail, [email protected], and through Instagram direct message. We are happy to answer questions, respond to concerns, and help interested students get involved!

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Healthy Is Hot!