Resources galore! Wrapping that rascal makes sense

It doesn't take a government study to show that dating can lead to sex. And even in pastoral Charlottesville, you can't be too safe.

Like some big city restaurants, Oxo restaurant does its part by distributing condoms. But they're not in a machine on the wall. They're not even in the men's room. Oxo offers an assortment of condoms in a basket in the ladies restroom. (Men are treated to Tootsie Rolls from a Viagra box.)

"Women have to be as responsible as men," says Oxo co-owner Alice Kim, who confirms that people really do take the rolled latex. "We refill about once a week," she says.

But what happens when passion overtakes good sense? The Charlottesville Albemarle Health Department offers free or low-cost screening and treatment for a variety of STDs including chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital warts, Trichomoniasis, syphilis (yes, it's still around), and HIV.

"We try to make it as private as possible," says Bob Parker, a Department epidemiologist, who explains that patients are given code numbers to keep their information confidential.

The Department (972-6217) is located on Rose Hill Drive, and screening for STDs is offered Tuesday and Friday from 1 to 3:30 on a walk-in basis. Anonymous HIV testing is available Wednesday 1-4:30pm and Thursday from noon to 1pm.

If you're a registered UVA student, you'll definitely want to visit UVA Student Health Services (924-5362)– since you've already paid for the privilege with your comprehensive student activity fee.

Earlier this year, this facility– like many student health centers in the state– came under fire for dispensing "morning after" birth control pills. Despite an FDA ruling that found the pills prevent conception, Northern Virginia-based Delegate Robert G. Marshall, R-Manassas, equates the pills with abortion and sent letters suggesting that issuing the pills might Virginia's "informed consent" law. (Only JMU's board voted to stop handing over the pills, and Republican Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore took the heat off the rest of them by later ruling that the pills are not abortifacients.)

Located on the corner of Brandon and JPA.

MORE RESOURCES:

The Teen Health Center - Provides pregnancy tests, HIV tests, gynecological exams, and other services for anyone ages 12 to 20. Operated in the Corner Building at 1400 W. Main St. as part of the UVA Health System. 982-0090

Charlottesville Free Clinic - Offers medical care to people of limited means. Located on Rose Hill Drive. 296-5255