The University of West Georgia is home to every type of sexually transmitted disease, or STDs. Being a university environment, students are at high risk of contracting an STD, because of various situations they enter into.
Although there is no particular time frame when the STD rates here on campus have grown, Liz Butts, Health and Wellness Promotion Coordinator, explained that “when students have unprotected sex or when they change partners and fail to get tested, the STD rate increases.” Even though it’s difficult to give an exact percentage, there are currently many students on campus who are unaware that they or their partners are infected with an STD.
Butts stated that most students become infected with an STD because “they didn’t use a condom or they didn’t use them all the time. Students can also become infected when they fail to get tested when changing partners and when they place themselves in risky situations by irresponsibly drinking.”
In order to decrease the amount of students getting infected with an STD, there are a few resources available that could aid students. For one, students are offered free condoms, free testing and consulting for HIV/AIDS and syphilis, dental dams and free HPV and Gardasil vaccinations for both males and females through drug providers. There is also a $35 test that checks for chlamydia and gonorrhea for students to utilize. In addition, there are also free Health Education and Peer Health Educator presentations available to students who want to gain more information about STDs.
The most common STDs that students come to the Health Center with are diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes, HPV and sometimes HIV and syphilis.
Younger students and females are some of the most at-risk victims for obtaining STDs. Most young students aren’t as educated about STDs and how to prevent themselves from contracting one. Females are at risk when they engage in alcoholic activity or put themselves in risky situations. They are more likely to be taken advantage of, and, as a result of this, they can end up having unprotected sex with a partner whom they are unfamiliar with.
Butts also pointed out some interesting facts that imply why it is important to be cautious and careful when it comes to participating in sexual intercourse. One of the facts that Butts mentioned was that “most females don’t know that they have chlamydia. When it is untreated, it creates pelvic inflammatory disease. This can cause infertility, pain and scarring of the genitals.” The other fact that she commented about was that there is also an “increased risk of STDs amongst gay and bisexual couples.”
“Be safe, be smart, be clean,” is the motivational logo that Ron King, Lead Health Educator, uses in order to promote campus students to take necessary precautions if they choose to participate in sexual intercourse. Most students don’t use condoms or birth control and he wants every student to “utilize the resources that the campus has available.” Even though there are free resources on campus, such as condoms, he stated that “abstinence is the only prevention from having an STD.”