Studies: College push needed to reduce STDs

By Miranda Rodriguez
Special to the Logos

Last year, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported ages 15-24 have the highest sexually transmitted infection (STI) rates.

In 2015, the San Antonio Express-News stated more than 13,000 people in Bexar County were diagnosed with chlamydia and more than 3,900 with gonorrhea. Bexar County’s rates of chlamydia were 44 percent more than the national rate and 66 percent higher in rates of gonorrhea.

According to a 2008 report by Davidson, Moore, Earle & Davis, the age when college students had their first sexual intercourse continued to decline in the 1980s and early 1990s, so by the mid-1990s, 60 percent of women and 70 percent of men indicated having experienced sexual intercourse by age 17. More specifically the reported mean age for first intercourse for college women ranges from 16.7 years to 17.5 years and for college men, 16 years to 17.6 years.

Franklin & Dotger’s research reported in 2011 found college freshmen have little to no knowledge about sex and the risk factors associated in engaging in unprotected sex. The authors also claim students continue their college years with little information about sex, contraceptives, and sexual diseases or infections. The knowledge students obtain during their (average) four years in college are usually from their own sexual encounters. College campuses should offer a venue where students may go and obtain information about safe sex practices.

College students usually rely on their campus health services clinic to assist with their sexual health. However, not every campus provides literature on safe sex practices. A 2011 report by Garcia-Retamero & Cokely noted brochures that stated the importance of using condoms encouraged preventative behaviors. In addition, the literature helped students to prevent STIs instead of treating them after it is too late.

There is clearly a need for healthy sexual behavior literature to be distributed on college campuses. Williams, Zenilman, Nanda & Mark in a 2018 study concluded it is more effective if campus health services got involved promoting safe sex practices in reducing the cases of STIs.

E-mail Rodriguez, a health education major, at mirodri1@student.uiwtx.edu

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