Despite an overall national increase in STD cases, studies show that numbers of reports of student cases at CSU remained consistent amid the national rise.
University and Center for Disease Control (CDC) officials say that although recent years have shown an increase in STDs, this could be due to more transparency stemming from the use of better testing techniques and equipment.
But that while better testing is being practiced at CSU, the numbers might not reflect reality because some students choose other health centers and many others don’t even bother getting tested, said Catherine Elliot, a graduate research assistant with Hartshorn Heath Center.
Debra Morris, director of Health Promotion at CSU said male students in general seek less health care than women at CSU.
“In . 2006, 58 percent of the visits for care at the health center were by females,” Morris said in an email.
University publications show that this year’s number of reports of most STDs fell or remained consistent with last year.
According to American College Health Association surveys of about 1000 students in 2006 and 2007, the only increase at CSU was in Gonorrhea //– up to six from three cases last year.
The increase in reports of Gonorrhea at CSU did not include a new antibiotic-resistant strain prevalent within the nationally rising STD rate, Morris said.
The new strain is a concern the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports has steadily increased in the U.S. for nearly two decades.
In contrast with the rise of Gonorrhea, other common STD cases show decreasing or unchanging patterns at CSU. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Chlamydia, decreased by five and three cases, respectively.
Genital Herpes, however increased from five cases to seven cases from 2005 to 2006 and leveled off this year and Pelvic Inflammatory Disease is up four cases from 2005.
Two cases of HIV were reported, down from three last year.
Hartshorn Director Stephen Blom said students can prevent STDs by being aware of and utilizing resources the health center is committed to providing.
“To get resources, it comes from the student health fee,” Blom said. “There’s no charge for a visit to health centers for testing. Money shouldn’t be a part of the decision (to get tested).”
The health center provides condoms, information packets, awareness programs, testing diagnosis and treatment all paid for by student fees.
While studies show that STD cases at CSU have declined, Hartshorn Health Clinic is committed to reducing STDs and increasing awareness at CSU.
“Prevention, prevention, prevention,” Morris said is the solution required for better sexual health.
CSU received a C on this year’s Trojan Sexual Health Report Card, which grades universities on a variety of topics, from condom availability to HIV and STD testing. The university took 23rd place on a list of 100 peer institutions.
Brigham Young University and the University of Notre Dame failed across the board, placing them in the two last slots on the list.
Yale University, in first place, was the only institution to earn a perfect score.
Staff Writer Andy Dose can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.