Features

Let’s talk about (safe) sex

KATHERINE ATKINSON

First-year is about growth, transition and exploration. For many students, university marks the time when they become sexually active. On the other hand, some may already be sexually active and others may choose to remain celibate. Nevertheless, at most universities there is a presence of hook-up culture which is fuelled by alcohol and parties. No matter how long you have been sexually active for, it is important to engage in safe sex to avoid sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancies.

An STI is an infection that can be spread by sexual contact. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that over 1 million new cases of STIs are transmitted worldwide every single day. WHO says that there are eight pathogens which are responsible for the most number of STIs. These include syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, hepatitis B, herpes simplex virus (HSV or herpes), HIV, and human papillomavirus (HPV). While the first four are curable but becoming increasingly drug resistant, the last four are incurable. WHO also notes that some STIs may not be explicitly notable, as is sometimes the case with chlamydia.

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The low-down on the Climate change debate

COURTNEY PAULSE

During 2017 a number of weather phenomena occurred in unusual places, and at unusual times of the year. The world’s most destructive flood took place in Peru, and in South Africa we saw massive storm floods hit Durban, as well as snow in the Free State in November. These unusual occurrences awakened a debate that has been going on for decades, on whether or not climate change really exists.

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Escaping the prevalence of cyberbullying

MOSA MGABHI

Technological advancement throughout the years has led to the rapid increase of cyberbullying. Even though the development of technology has allowed humans to make great strides in many fields, it has also allowed forms of transgression to become equally varied. The availability, anonymity and accessibility of electronic communication has enabled traditional face-to-face bullying to translate into the online world, resulting in cyberbullying. The South African Department of Justice and Constitutional Development defines cyberbullying as “acts involving bullying and harassment using electronic devices and technology” and is perpetrated through websites, blogs, chat rooms, social networking sites, and emails among many other methods. Affordablecollegesonline.org, with the help of Claire K. Hall, a higher education attorney, sought to help students understand cyberbullying in college and identified different forms of cyberbullying which include flaming, exclusion, cyberstalking, outing, and masquerading.

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Hailstorms and floods wreak havoc across the country

MOSA MGABHI

Golf ball size hail and flash floods battered Gauteng on 9 October which killed one and injured four people in the Krugersdorp area of the West Rand. Two were injured due to the collapse of the Cradlestone Mall’s roof while the other three were hurt near the Hillside Road area, with one sustaining fatal injuries. The roof of Protea Riff Primary School, in Protea Glen, Soweto, was also blown off . The South Gauteng High Court and the Home Affairs building in Krugersdorp were among the identified state-owned properties damaged by the weather. The Gauteng Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs spokesperson  Mogomotsi Mogodiri, expressed that emergency personnel relocated approximately 500 people to the Magaliesberg community hall in Orient Hills on the West Rand.

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Canine counselling: animal assisted therapy

KATHERINE ATKINSON

Many people claim that dogs are man’s best friend because of their unconditional love, but science has proven that dogs, and other animals, can also offer powerful therapeutic effects through animal assisted therapy (AAT). Recently this therapy method was used to comfort people in the city of Las Vegas after they experienced a tragic shooting which left 58 dead and over 500 injured. The Independent reported that the Lutheran Church Charity’s K-9 Comfort Dogs, based in Illinois, visited various places in Las Vegas to help victims deal with the traumatic event.

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