The walk of shame

By on October 2, 2003

Living in such tight quarters can cause colds and viruses to spread through campus easily, but a cold is not the only health issue concerning students. Sexually transmitted diseases are a lot easier to contract on campus than one may realize.

“There are statistics out there, it’s just personal information,” Shelia Burke, assistant director of Health Services said.

Burke encourages students to “think twice” because STDs are definitely out there.

According to the Planned Parenthood website, “By the age of 24, one in three sexually active people will have contracted an STD….Of the 15 million people who contract STDs annually, one quarter, or 3,750,000, are teenagers.”

“I am sure there are infected people. No one is going to come out and tell me, but I am sure,” Cassandra Pignatelli, junior business student said.

The most common STDs are chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, and Human Papilloma Virus.

Although symptoms are not always present, the common symptoms are soreness, pain with intercourse or urination, itches, sores and blisters.

Alcohol also adds to the likelihood of STDs spreading. Students are less likely to engage in safe sex when they have been drinking.

“After a few drinks students do things, their behavior changes, and sometimes they are sorry they did it. Alcohol plays a part in a lot of cases,” Burke said.

The Health Center offers a lot of services for all students, including gynecological appointments for women and selling contraceptives.

“All visits to Health Services are private and confidential, for whatever reason. By the age of 21, all girls should have had at least one gynecological appointment,” Burke said.

The exam is kept confidential and the doctor does not have to contact home or the insurance company. After the appointment a girl has different options such as birth control, which is five dollars a month.

Students may not even be aware that they have an STD because symptoms are not always present, and he or she might be unknowingly passing it on to others.

Students often joke about STDs, but it is a serious issue to be informed about.

For further information, contact Health Services at x8742.


About Nicole Silva