UO Health Center launches SexPositive app

EUGENE, Ore. -- (Oct. 8, 2013) -- The University of Oregon Health Center is launching a smartphone app titled SexPositive. It is already available for the iPhone and will be coming to Android phones soon.

The app aims to combine technology, language and tone that appeal to 18-23 year olds to help students make healthy sexual decisions. The goals of the app are to decrease transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STI) and sexual violence, increase healthy communication, and establish the Health Center as a trusted resource of information for students.

The app provides information about STI risks, information about a wide variety of sexual experiences and safer sex practices. It norms sex positive, gender-neutral language to destigmatize communication about sex.

According to Keith Van Norman, health promotion marketing manager at the Health Center, the app expands the definition of “safer sex” to encourage not only protection but also partner communication. Additionally, the app provides video content of conversations about sex and ways to express explicit consent.

“The university takes a broad approach to educating our students about behaviors and choices that may affect their current and future health, and their overall quality of life,” said Paula Staight, health promotions director for the university health center. “Being informed and adding to a student’s existing knowledge is a powerful prevention effort.”

The UO Health Center created the app in order to provide a safe, reliable platform for students to gain information pertaining to their sexual health. Recent survey data indicated that two-thirds of UO students turn to friends, family, lifestyle magazines and websites for advice – not health professionals on campus.

“Students arrive on campus with different levels of sex education,” said Robin Holmes, vice president for Student Affairs. “The SexPositive app is a resource that provides accurate sexual health information and is available whenever students need it.”

The health center will host a launch event for the app on Oct. 15.  On-campus events will culminate with a free lecture by Dan Savage at 7:30 p.m. at the Ford Alumni Ballroom. Savage is a nationally-syndicated sex columnist, author of “Savage Love” and creator of the weekly podcast Savage Lovecast. Free tickets (limit two per person) are available at the EMU ticket office.  If tickets sell out, the event will streamed live to an overflow audience in the Global Scholars Hall Ballroom.

For more information, visit http://sexpositive.uoregon.edu.

About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.

MEDIA CONTACT: Julie Brown, UO communications, 541-346-3185, julbrown@uoregon.edu

Note: The University of Oregon is equipped with an on-campus television studio with a point-of-origin Vyvx connection, which provides broadcast-quality video to networks worldwide via fiber optic network. In addition, there is video access to satellite uplink, and audio access to an ISDN codec for broadcast-quality radio interviews.