Sexually Transmitted Diseases Increasingly Prevalent among College Students
Upon entrance into the college years, young men and women are concerned about the level of difficulty of classes, adjusting to a new schedule and being away from home. The one aspect that does not generally cross their mind is the risk that they are at with contracting a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
There are 19 million new STDs contracted annually among 15-24 year olds. These can range anywhere from chlamydia (the most commonly contracted STD) to Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) which is a trigger of cervical cancer in women. 39% of HIV infections in the year 2009 were also in this age range. Click here to access some quick tips on how to prevent yourself from contracting an STD and what to do if you do contract one.
A majority of college students do not realize that the two most common STDs contracted, chlamydia and gonorrhea, rarely have symptoms. Besides these two, the other most commonly contracted that students can get tested for include Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Herpes 1, Herpes 2, HIV and Syphilis. Research indicates that 20-25% of college students will contract at least one of these STDs during their college years.
Another fact that many young men and women are unaware of is that oral sex is not considered ‘safe sex.’ Even though it is less likely, one can still contract STDs through giving or receiving oral sex. It is recommended that a latex or polyurethane condom or dental dam is utilized when giving or receiving in order to lessen your risk.
If you are looking for more information about STDs or whether you or someone you know may have an STD, Click here to access the American Social Health Association’s STD Discussion Boards to chat with others your age who are concerned about STDs.
-Written By Ahna Erickson