The most important test

With so many students driving to school, parking lots have become hunting grounds for most. Dave Young / UVU REVIEW

It’s one of the only tests in college you really hope to fail.

Students can receive STD and HIV testing without ever leaving campus. The Student Health Center, located in SC 221, offers students the chance to get screened for various sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV. This service provided by the center helps students not only stay healthy, but promotes the ideas of safe sex.

According to the Center for Disease Control, young people ages 15 to 24 have four times the reported chlamydia rates of the total population. For gonorrhea, it’s five times the total population.

Women ages 20-24 years old have the second highest rate of new cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea, while men ages 20-24 years-old have the highest rate. Because chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are all inflammatory diseases, they can more easily facilitate the transmission of HIV.

Keeping students healthy in all aspects of health includes ensuring students are being sexually responsible. According to Student Health Services and the Center for Disease Control, abstinence is the most effective way to prevent any and all STDs.     If one chooses to be sexually active, however, the next most effective preventative measure is latex condoms when used consistently and correctly. The FDA reports that only two in every hundred condoms break during sexual intercourse, but these are usually due to inconsistent or incorrect usage of the condom. To learn how to properly use a condom, students can go to SHS for more information.

While Student Health Services encourages preventative measures to lower the risk of infection by providing free condoms, they also offer STD screening and treatment options if the worst were to happen. SHS suggests sexually active students get tested yearly and at the beginning of every new relationship.

Even if a student does not believe he or she has been infected, it is still vital to be screened. According to the CDC, 80 to 90 percent of chlamydia cases and 50 percent of gonorrhea cases in women are asymptomatic, meaning there are no symptoms that would indicate an infection. Because of the delay in seeking medical treatment, 10 to 20 percent of women infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea may develop pelvic inflammatory disease. PID can lead to involuntary infertility, ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain. Regular screening programs, however, have lead to the instances of PID to be reduced by 60 percent.

Students may feel more comfortable going to SHS than other resources because of its focus on students. While Planned Parenthood or various county health centers offer the same STD testing services, they are open to the general public, while SHS is restricted to only UVU students. SHS also offers testing at a lower cost than most county health centers.

Whether its providing contraception tools, STD testing, STD counseling or basic information, Student Health Services provides further assistance to helping students succeed in school.

Student Health Services is open Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m.-5p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. They are located in SC 221.

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