When it comes to STD education and care, secrecy is not the answer.
Many people find it difficult to talk about sex. Whether the conversations are held with parents, friends or health care providers, openly discussing sexuality often has a stigma attached. But the consequences of not doing so can be dangerous, especially for young people.
College-aged men and women are at a greater risk for contracting a sexually transmitted disease than older adults. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that adolescents and young adults under 25 are more likely to acquire STDs for behavioral, biological and cultural reasons.
With information on the transmission, treatment and prevention of venereal diseases, STDUniversity.org, a new interactive Web site that supplies a need for sexual education among young people, makes accurate information about STDs easily accessible to those who need it most.
While STD University won’t necessarily make talking about sex any easier, we commend the organization’s efforts to educate young people about STDs. However, we still think there’s plenty of work left to be done.
In 2007 and 2008, Philadelphia reported higher rates of common STDs than any other county in the state of Pennsylvania. In 2008, there were 31,238 cases of chlamydia, 6,696 cases of gonorrhea and 68 cases of primary or secondary syphilis – more than twice the amounts reported in other counties.
Furthermore, results from the National College Health Assessment conducted by the American College Health Association determined only 51.3 percent of students reported receiving information about STDs and prevention from their university. While Temple cannot be held accountable for such statistics, the university should be mindful of the facts.
Temple provides its students with a number of resources geared toward sexual health. Student Health Services offers confidential STD testing and the Health Education Awareness Resource Team offers students a safe place to discuss and receive help for various health-related issues. Students should be aware of these programs and feel comfortable enough to go to them for help.