Photo by Sho Kitamura

A unit of Stamps Health Services, Health Promotion, has started a new “Get Yourself Protected” (GYP) campaign. Intended to educate students about sexual health and to promote responsible decisions, the GYP campaign has started many initiatives. The progressive nature of Stamps Health Services’ actions and the GYP campaign in particular is a positive force on campus, and if applied properly, can educate and protect the student body.

Stamps will be offering free HIV testing on Wednesday, Oct. 9, sponsored by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Sexual health information and safe sex supplies will also be provided at the event. Funding for the free event comes from the Health Fee, an appropriate use of these funds. Given that 80 percent of people with an STI do not present symptoms, and that 20 percent of people with HIV are unaware of their condition, Stamps’ event demonstrates responsibility and strong initiative.

The GYP campaign is also valuable to Tech because of its social effects. By openly discussing sexual health and breaking down misconceptions, the campaign removes stigma associated with sex in a state whose sexual education is based predominantly on  the abstinence-only approach. The campaign emphasizes protection in addition to testing, which is essential in accommodating a more practical, modern perspective. The open and frank nature of the discussions at Stamps’ events empowers students to confidently make conscious, sensible decisions.

Stamps promotes its events on several social media web sites and at campus events. The “GYP Tuesdays” initiative, where Stamps will share health messages every Tuesday, is particularly noteworthy because of its informativeness and consistency. Because of the campaign’s widespread nature, it has the potential to effectively reach students and achieve its goals.