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Speaker warns alcohol, sex a dangerous combo

Joel Goldman knows first-hand that mixing alcohol and sex can be dangerous.

Goldman, who found out that he was HIV positive in 1992, gave his presentation, "Sex Under the Influence," to a crowd of sorority and fraternity members who roared with chatter and filled a lecture auditorium in Regener Hall to the brim Monday night.

Goldman has been speaking at college campuses about AIDS for nine years and has worked for a year and a half with the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric Aids Foundation, an organization that serves the needs of children who are HIV positive.

Students laughed when Goldman began his presentation with a slide show of photos from his drinking days in college. He had a curly afro in some photos, his pants down or his shirt off in others and, in many of them, he held bottles and cans of alcohol with his arms draped around girls and friends.

Goldman pointed at the last photo and said he woke up at three in the afternoon that day with seven stitches in his leg. He said he was naked and with unexpected company, all because he could not make the right decisions while he was drunk. He said he remembered few things from the night before.

"I don't even know if I could've gotten it up," he said.

Goldman said before the show that he was an average college student and only drank a few times a week. He said even students who don't drink very much should be aware of what alcohol can do to their decision-making process.

He added that people should set rules for themselves before they go out, such as not having sex if they drink, so they will be more likely to follow them. He added that they should also ask their friends to watch out for them.

Goldman said one out of three college students ends up in an argument that leads to a violent altercation after a night of drinking. He said people often start arguments with those they really care about. He added that alcohol plays a role in 80 percent of all sexual assaults on college campuses.

During the presentation, Goldman had everyone stand up and shake hands with three people. He said the handshakes symbolized having sex with those people. The crowd laughed and some people pumped their fists. He said it's unlikely that most will have sex three times in one night, but they may during a period of a few years.

"Think of this game as your whole time at college," he said.

He then had everyone look at the small cards they received before the presentation that symbolized being HIV positive, intravenous drug use, drunkenness and unsafe sex.

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Goldman said that the people who were standing at the end of the exercise, which was almost 80 percent of the room, were in a high-risk category for contracting HIV. Goldman said one out of every four college students has a sexually transmitted disease. He said only one in 11 people knows he or she is infected. He emphasized that HIV is spread through blood, semen, vaginal fluid or breast milk that comes together without being exposed to air.

Goldman didn't let the audience know that he has AIDS until he was two-thirds of the way through the show. UNM student Grant Nichols said he had no idea that Goldman had AIDS when he went to see the presentation.

"The reality check was the best part," Nichols said. "It was a good example of how you never know."


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