When one thinks about college campuses, sexually transmitted diseases and infections are not generally the first thing to come to mind. However, by the age of 25, half of all sexually active young adults will get an STI, according to the American Social Health Organization.
“A majority of STI cases are from people who range between the ages of 19 and 24,” Renee Bateman, Coordinator for Health Promotion at the Student Health Center said. “Although STI’s are not necessarily more popular on campuses, students normally fall within those ages.”
Chlamydia is the most prevalent STI both nationally and on SRU’s campus, Bateman said. The Student Health Center works to provide students with contraceptives, safer sex supplies, emergency contraception, pregnancy tests, and screening for STIs.
During the academic year of 2012-13, 12 percent of people tested at the Student Health Center tested positive for Chlamydia. During the academic year of 2013-14, 8 percent tested positive for Chlamydia, .6 percent tested positive for gonorrhea, and .3 percent tested positive for syphilis.
When asked what she would tell students when dealing with STIs, Bateman said, “Our motto is abstinence is best, protection is next.”
“I oversee our Protection Connection, a program that provides students with safer sex supplies at a very low cost of 25 cents,” Bateman said. “We highly encourage the use of condoms, other forms of contraceptives, and testing before each new partner.”