Disclaimer: The information, articles, and tips portrayed on this blog, while based on research, do not constitute medical advice. The opinions expressed are meant to educate and inform, but not to dictate lifestyle choices or personal beliefs. These articles are meant to provoke thought on issues surrounding college health and to inform the Hopkins community of healthy information and resources.


Sip Tip: Boozy Boating

The line between staying in the blue zone and going overboard when it comes to drinking can be crossed in a flash.  This makes it crucial to pay attention, if they choose to drink alcoholic beverages, and to consider doing things like pacing oneself, incorporating non-alcoholic drinks, and remembering to eat before and while drinking is happening.

With events like the Junior boat cruise, Spring Fair, and summer fun within sight, we are thinking of some possible activities that could happen, including off-land ones.  If these activities include drinking alcohol, consider keeping some safer drinking strategies in mind for a more memorable time.  Bring food along to eat before/during, remember to hydrate by drinking lots of water, and try not to be "that guy" or "that girl" since taking care of that person can be especially difficult and dangerous in an unfamiliar place, like the middle of an ocean.... as the video below can show:

Be warned: This video goes from ordinary to frightening in ~30 seconds.

Watching this video, one can see how swiftly good times go to scary times, as the drunken sailor is within inches of the motor and could have easily lost limbs or his life in that fall.

One of his shipmates filed this report: "I was the one who threw the beer, he was really drunk the first beer we threw he caught one handed like a ninja. The second one he didn't have quite as much grace it hit him right in the chin. The can blew up on his tooth when he came up he had a gash almost through his lip and he was wiggling his tooth it looked like it was about ready to fall out."

It can be very scary for everyone when those who engage in drinking go even one drink too far.  If you choose to drink, stay in the blue zone by stopping at buzzed.

Video and statement taken from Gawker


Going, Going, Gonorrhea


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new information about the rise of gonorrhea—specifically an antibiotic resistant strand of gonorrhea.  In the study, the CDC looked at data from the Gonococcal Isolate Surveillance Project which collected data from 1991-2006.

Seventeen U.S cities collected data, in nine cities there was a low prevalence of the antibiotic resistant strand of gonorrhea and, in the other eight there were high volumes of the resistant gonorrhea. The goal of the study was to find out if the prevalence of resistant gonorrhea would increase the total number of gonorrhea cases in the city. In the nine cities with a low prevalence of antibiotic resistant gonorrhea, total gonorrhea cases actually DECREASED from 2000-2006. The other eight cities, with a high prevalence of the resistant strand of the disease saw a double in the number of total gonorrhea cases between 2000-2006!! That’s pretty alarming.

Currently the CDC recommends using an injectable antibiotic, ceftriaxone, and one of two oral antibiotics (azithromycin or doxycycline) to treat the STI. The worry is that gonorrhea could evolve to become resistant to ceftriaxone (this is the strongest medication used to treat it). Although there have been no reports of a ceftriaxone resistant strand in the U.S, there have been reports of it in other locations, such as Europe.

Eradicating the disease from an infected individual can take a long time, even if they have been treated with antibiotics because the antibiotics simply take a long time to fully work. This means that individuals can unknowingly still spread the disease if they have unprotected sex before they have been confirmed clean of the STI. The message here is (which we can never stop reminding people): if you are sexually active, always use a barrier method, like a condom, all of the time, for the entire length of the sexual activity. The CDC also recommends getting tested for gonorrhea at least once a year…and so do we!  Stop by the health center to be tested by making an appointment.

To learn more about  the CDC’s findings, just visit the link below:


SEE it fits!


SEE Tip: When it comes to exercise- how do you make sure it fits into your day?  Do you do it in the morning, during the day, or in the evening?  According to experts, there is no right time of day- as long as you do it!  You can split it up or get it done in one shot; just get your sweat on.  Just make sure to reach 150 minutes per week, as recommended for optimal health.

Help us reach 150 minutes of exercise as a campus at the SEE table on Monday!  Do some form of exercise and SEE that we can reach the recommendation together.  Stop by the breezeway to get involved and win a SEE giveaway for moving your body.

HKB News: The good news, people are realizing how bad cigarettes are for them, and even teens are seeing the problems with them.  The bad news, Big Tobacco has found a new way to still hook people in, despite the knowledge gaining around cigarettes.  Vaping has become the new "big thing".  Some find it useful as a way to reduce the harmful effects of cigarettes, and others are using it as their first way into any sort of smoking device.  Since these new vaping products aren't regulated, it is tough to say if they are or aren't safe. And since many still have nicotine in them, the people using them are likely forming addictions, as we're seeing in young teens.  Be wary of vaping, it may appear like harmless vapor, but consider your health before a habit becomes an addiction.

Mellow Out Monday Tip: What time of day are you most stressed?   Identify your most stressful feeling and use the stress to your benefit-- harness the energy into a workout.  Use the stress to move your body and release the tension throughout  your whole body while also relaxing your mind.

Need another stress reliever or is exercise just not cutting it?  Try a free back rub from Stressbusters!  Tonight starting at 8pm, Stressbusters will be in the MSE on Q level giving out free back rubs... get your's tonight for a stress-free tomorrow.


Staggering Stats


The reality of sexual assault is heartbreaking both for the victims and their families. Devastatingly, one out of every six women in America has been the victim of an attempted or completed sexual rape in her lifetime and 2.78 million men have been the victims of sexual assault or rape (1). What is even more or equally terrible is that 60% of sexual assaults never get reported, and of those that do 97% of rapists never spend a day in jail (2).

Survivors of sexual assault are likely to suffer in a variety of ways due to what happened to them, including emotionally, mentally and even physically. Victims of sexual assault are (1):
    ~3 times more likely to suffer from depression.
    ~6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.
    ~13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.
    ~26 times more likely to abuse drugs.
    ~4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.

These effects on victims are incredibly devastating.  So, what do you do if you know someone going through this? How do you help a victim of sexual assault? One of the most important things you can do is be a support system for the person. This may seem obvious but it’s extremely important, and often forgotten in the moment. This includes withholding any forms of judgment, and allowing the person to choose what they want to do- whether it's to report or have a sexual assault exam done at a hospital. You can also be someone the victim can lean on and express themselves to, but be mindful of your own needs, and be sure to guide them towards a licensed counselor if things become too heavy (3). There are also many sexual assault helplines for the victim, their families, and even friends.

The Rape Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) offers a 24 hour hotline at:
They can also be reached online if you are more comfortable talking over the computer at :
RAINN also offers a SMS text messaging option:
55-247 (inside the US)
001-202-470-5546 (Outside the US)

1. https://www.rainn.org/get-information/statistics/sexual-assault-victims
2. https://www.rainn.org/statistics
3. http://www.victimsofcrime.org/help-for-crime-victims/get-help-bulletins-for-crime-victims/bulletins-for-teens/sexual-assault


SEE: A Fruit-tastic Day


SEE Tip: Fruit is a healthy and easy snack to eat on the go.  It's typically available at most convenience stores and dining areas on campus.  Fruit can also be bought and prepped for a few days ahead of time so temptation to snack on chips is less likely when supplies of fruit can be found in the fridge.   Fruits are packed with nutrients, including potassium, fiber, and vitamin C.  This means you stay full longer with a healthy snack and increase your body's nutrients through healthier snacking choices.

Will you be getting your sweat on between 11-12:30?  PEEPs will be at the Rec Center giving away fruit for a healthy snack today.  Stop by before or after your sweat session for a healthy treat!

HKB Quit Tip: Thinking of quitting smoking, but worried about weight gain?  While weight gain can happen, it can help to eat healthier, by incorporating fruits and veggies into one's diet, as well as lean meats and healthy grains.  For those times when snacking seems like the only option, having prepared snacks, like cut up fruit or whole grain popcorn can soothe the cravings and solve some of the immediate stress.  If that's still not cutting it, consider talking to someone for additional support.  Quitting is not easy- you don't have to do it alone.  Try the MD Quit hotline or contact chew.jhu@gmail.com for additional help on campus.

Mellow Out Monday Tip:  When you eat better, you feel better.  When you feel better, you stress less.  Simple right?  If only it was as easy to do, as it is to type (or read).  But with things like pre-packaged fruit to go or prepping your own fruit to go for healthy snacks during the week, it should be a whole lot easier to live healthier and happier.

If you want some immediate stress relief, stop by tonight's Mellow Out Monday on Q level in the MSE for a free backrub from the Stressbusters between 8-10pm.  Don't let stress get you down, let us bring you up!


One Love


Recent research has found a link between alcohol use and relationship violence. When alcohol is consumed, there appeared to be a greater risk for violence between a couple.  This violence appeared as physical, sexual, and psychological abuse to one's partner.

This may not be surprising for many of us.  It might even conjure up memories of Yeardley Love, a Baltimore native who went to UVA, and was horribly beaten to death by her boyfriend, George Huguely after he had been out drinking.  The One Love Foundation sprung from this tragic loss to help others identify and escape dangerous and unhealthy relationships.

If you or someone you care about is in an abusive relationship, visit loveisrespect.org for more information and help.


Welcome to SAAM


April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  It's time to talk about it.  Here's why:

  • One in five women and one in 71 men will be raped at some point in their lifetime.
  • One in four victims of reported rape are of college-aged women (18-24 years old).
  • Nearly 80% of women who reported being raped at some point in their life, experienced their first rape before the age of 25. 
  • On college campuses, most sexual assault victims (between 80-90%) knew their attacker.
  • For male victims, more than 25% reported that their first rape occurred at age 10 or younger.

Last month, a high school newspaper was under scrutiny for talking about sexual assault and giving victims a place to talk.  This is not supposed to happen in 2014.  It's time to talk about it!  Give victims a voice and reduce the environment for rapists to feel comfortable and accepted.  Look for more info about ways to do this throughout April!


SEE Cortisol Levels Dropping


SEE tip:  If the week after returning from break has got you feeling drained and behind on sleep already, try adding a nap into your day.  Just a 20 minute nap can restore energy and help you power through the rest of the day until you are ready for a good night's sleep.  And no, napping isn't for babies and toddlers, it's okay for adults to nap.  In fact, 34% of adults already do so daily... join the 34% and get your sleep for better energy.

Don't worry about rushing home in between classes- we have a Nap Zone set up for you in Levering today.  We'll have yoga mats for you to take a nap (the length of your nap is up to you).  BYOB-- bring your own blanket!  We'll be in the Glass Pav from 11-1 today with soothing music and mats.  Stop by for a nap today!

HKB Quit Tip: When trying to quit smoking, a person may find it difficult to get a good night's rest.  Consider the benefits of napping to catch up on lost ZZZ's and avoid the call of the nicotine during the day.  Feeling like the addiction is getting too tough, reach out for help; call the MD Quit line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW to talk to someone and have some resources provided, like access to the gum, lozenge, or patch.  

Mellow Out Monday Tip:  Studies have shown that short naps (~20-30 minutes) can reduce cortisol levels, which can help with stress relief.  Another great reason for getting a little shut eye in the afternoon.  Just be sure it's between 11am-3pm, or whenever the mid-point of your day is, to avoid messing with your 7-9 hours later.  You can start today by stopping by the Nap Zone in the Glass Pav between 11am-1pm! Drop in for a short rest.

Cortisol levels still raging?  Stop by the MSE on Q level tonight for a FREE back rub from Stressbusters. We'll be starting at 8pm and looking to reduce your stress. Stop by and see us!


Drinking to Death

A new study by the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has estimated that a whopping 88,000 deaths were caused by alcohol during 2006-2010. This number included those that died in alcohol related vehicle accidents, alcohol-related liver disease, fetal alcohol syndrome, as well as, numerous other alcohol related deaths.

The CDC goes on to say that these alcohol related fatalities have also killed more than 2.5 million years of potential life. The study explains that the majority of victims were between the ages of 20 and 64 and they could have gone on to live many more years and even possibly produce new life had alcohol not killed them (both directly and indirectly). The researchers found that the median death rate related to alcohol was 28.5 per 1,000 people.

When you sit back and think of all the life that was lost within those four years the study was conducted, you have to wonder, is drinking even worth it? That’s a lot of death, a lot of heartache, caused by over consumption of a beverage. Yes, there are some benefits to drinking, but this study just goes to show the importance of safety when drinking, as well as, bringing more light to the long-term effects of alcohol abuse.

I have to wonder, is it our culture that enables people to drink in excess and add to these already too high numbers the CDC has published? Is it genetics that may make some people more susceptible to becoming alcoholics? Or is it something else or maybe a combination of the two?  What is your reaction to the study? Why do you think this number is so high or did you expect it to be higher? Leave your comments in the comment section below.

If you want to read more about the study it can be found here: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6310a2.htm?s_cid=mm6310a2_w


The future of condoms

We all know that if you choose to have sex with a partner, it’s your best bet to be as safe as possible. Safer sex includes being emotionally ready to have sex, being in the correct state of mind to do so and, of course, protecting your body from STI’s. One of the best and well known methods to protect the body from sexually transmitted infections, like HIV, is to use the condom. The condom has been around for more than 400 years (1) and has proven to be effective when used properly. 400 years is a long time for us Americans to go without changing something. One man, Danny Resnic, decided it was time to spruce up the current day condom and give it a little makeover; the result: the origami condom.

Origami condoms are said to be the “next generation condom”, setting out to improve the classic, and still effective, roll-down condoms. These new condoms are made of silicon which is a flexible and durable material is proven to prevent pregnancy, transmission of STI and other viruses AND transmits body sensation and body heat well. Also origami condoms have three models: the male condom, the female condom AND, the first of its kind, the receptive anal intercourse condom! Receptive anal intercourse is the leading way HIV is spread and developing a condom that will allow the partner receiving anal intercourse to take initiative and wear the condom. The male condom is an accordion shape and does not need to be rolled down the penis like traditional condoms. The makers say the condom can be put on in one quick motion (that way intimacy won’t be lost) and the accordion shape allows for constant contraction and expansion of the condom leading to a more fluid motion of the penis. Now females, what about you? Well origami did design a female condom that lets you be in control of protecting yourself! The condom is designed with a female anatomy in mind and to enhance pleasure for both partners. The female origami condom is intended to be easy to insert and will accommodate a range of penis sizes!

This is not to say that the tried and true isn’t effective, they still work fantastically when used correctly. The origami condom is just an advanced condom with some tweaks. The basic form and idea is just the same. Another important note is that just like our current day condoms, origami condoms will only be effective when used properly. Neither is a 100% guarantee.

The condoms haven’t hit the market yet, but after a few more go-rounds with testing and approval from people like WHO and the FDA they are set to hit the market in 2015! If you want to learn more about origami condoms, or sign up to get news about their release date, just visit the website at http://www.origamicondoms.com/

1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1293956/?page=1
2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1293956/?page=1