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Wrap up or check up
Abnormal vaginal discharge, discharge from the penis, burning sensations while urinating, possible swelling and pain in one or both testicles.
These are all possible symptoms of Chlamydia, the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) on college campuses today that can infect both men and women, according to the Center of Disease Control (CDC). STIs, such as this one, could lack symptoms and sometimes does not show any at all.
One in four college students have an STI, according to Stanford University’s Sexual Health Peer Resource Center.
One in four of all new HIV infections is among youth ages 13 to 24 and about 50,000 people get HIV each year in the United States. HIV is a virus that the body cannot fight off, meaning people can have it for the rest of their life, according to the CDC.
The CDC recommends sexually-active females 25 and under to get tested at least once a year. CDC estimates undiagnosed STDs cause 24,000 women to become infertile each year.
The Student Health Services provides STI testing, educational pamphlets and condoms here at Quinnipiac.
Director of Student Health Services Alice Holland, who is also a certified sex educator, said STIs can be transmitted even while wearing protection such as condoms.
“STI’s have two main modes of transmission: exchange of blood and bodily fluids, and skin-to-skin contact,” she said. “While condoms are your best defense against STI’s in preventing exchange of blood and body fluids, if you are going to have sex, they are not totally protective. Genital skin-to-skin contact occurs despite with condom use.”
In the United States, about one in every six people from ages 14 to 49 have genital herpes. Herpes show up as sores and the fluid in them is what carries the virus and typically appears around genitals, rectum and mouth. People can contract herpes even if there are no visible sores according to the CDC.
Herpes and genital warts can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact as well, Holland said.
“I feel like people should definitely get checked regularly but people don’t talk about STDs around campus,” sophomore Kaitlin Baldino said. “They definitely exist, but they are not something people talk about.”
Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be tested through urine samples that costs $15 at Student Health Services. It provides tests for HIV, hepatitis and syphilis as well.
Sophomore Lauren Ginsberg thinks it’s smart for Student Health Services to offer testing, but this is something that should be advertised to students more.
Freshmen John Cuco and Tyler Nelson think students are lazy and not educated enough when it comes to getting tested.
Some freshmen think Quinnipiac doesn’t do a good enough job at informing students of STI awareness.
“I haven’t seen anything,” Kathryn Pereira said.
Junior Nick Passell doesn’t think students are smart about getting tested.
“Seeing how college students treat alcohol and cigarettes and drugs, it’s hard to imagine that they’d be smart about sex,” he said.
Holland said it’s important to be open about STIs if you are in a relationship.
“Communication is key to a successful relationship,” she said. “I recommend sharing dialogue on testing and risks involved when sexually active.”