STDs are on the rise

By Jessie Holeva
December 6, 2007

mct campus/wichita eagle

The number of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States is significantly rising and the college age group is the target. That honors student who tutors over in the SET building might have chlamydia. Or that really sweet guy you were with last Thursday, he might have given you something without even knowing he had a sexually transmitted disease. That’s the thing with STDs. It’s not common for someone to whisper their disease in your ear as they kiss your neck.

“Chlamydia is more common then the common cold on a college campus,” Mary Jo Rose, Cabrini’s associate nurse, said.

Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted disease that spreads from oral, vaginal and anal sex. It can do permanent damage if not treated and often goes untreated because about 75 percent of women and 50 percent of men don’t show symptoms.

Dr. Louis Weinstein, the chairman of Ob Gyn at Thomas Jefferson University, is aware of the growth of STDs and chlamydia is the most common. Weinstein reasons it’s due to less condom use and more casual sex being practiced.

“The risks are multiplied with multiple partners,” Susan Fitzgerald, director of health services, said.

“There really is no safe sex, unless you trust you and your partner,” Weinstein said. He recommends being careful and selective and not only relying on condoms.

Greg Matarazzo, a junior English and communications major, knows people with STDs and feels the majority of Cabrini students having sex definitely do not practice safe sex, but should.

“In the heat of the moment I probably wouldn’t ask someone [if they have an STD],” Sarah Van Cleve, a freshman secondary education and chemistry major, said.

Van Cleve thinks the college age group feels unlikely to come in contact with an STD.

Tom Hayes, a sophomore history major, thinks only half the students engaging in sexual activity use a condom and if the school had condoms available unsafe sex would decrease. Van Cleve agrees with Hayes in that there should be something for the students on campus.

Cabrini is a Catholic institution and does not condone premarital sex. Sexual activity is still practiced on campus, but for many students obtaining protection is an obstacle.

Freshman living in the dorms are prohibited from having a car on campus and many upper classmen are also without a vehicle. Not having condoms, however, doesn’t stop a significant amount of students from engaging in sex and other sexual acts which can lead to possibly becoming infected.

About 15 years ago the student government association tried to get condoms on campus but was denied. “Tell the students to lead the change [regarding having condoms on campus],” Rose said.

Health Services has had confidential HIV screening in the past. The office recommends using Planned Parenthood, which is a close by resource. Planned Parenthood asks every patient to be tested for STDs. The family planning council provides funding for those less than 25 years of age to be tested free of charge.

Debbie Stickney, a counselor at Planned Parenthood in Media, urges young people to get tested on a regular basis if sexually active. “It could save you from a lot of misery,” Stickney said.

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Jessie Holeva

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