Examining Prevalent STDs on College Campuses

For many, the college experience is the most rewarding period in their life. Yet, college students comprise a high-risk group for STD contraction. Indeed, researchers consistently find individuals aged 15-24 to be among the most susceptible to getting an STD. But what are the most prevalent STDs on college campuses and how can college students ensure their higher-education experience isn’t blighted by an STD? We’ll answer both of those questions and more here:

Most Common STDs for College Students

To begin with, it’s difficult to gauge exactly how many college students have an STD. For one, an individual may catch an infection in college, but not get tested or receive treatment until after they graduate. (STDs can be asymptomatic for months or even years.) Second, most researchers group individuals into age brackets ranging from 15-19, or 20-24. Since the “traditional” college age is 18-22, it’s tough to draw conclusions using these two subsets. And lastly, few studies focus on specific colleges and their rates of STD transmission. Researchers at The State of Education created this fascinating report detailing the healthiest and least healthy colleges in terms of sexual wellness –– but even this study relies on educated guesses and assumptions.

Still, given all the data available, one can conclude with some certainty that chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are the extremely prevalent STDs among college students. Men and women aged 15-24 account for the highest rates of transmission for each of these STDs. One particularly alarming stat from the CDC is that young women (15-24) make up about half of all reported cases of chlamydia in the country.

Preventing STDs in College

Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are all bacterial diseases, which is good news for college students. Bacterial STDs can be completely cured through antibiotic treatments. Note here that just because an STD isn’t chronic, doesn’t mean you can afford to ignore it. Untreated STDs can contribute to a wide array of health problems, so make it a point to get tested and treated regularly. Other ways to protect yourself and your partner(s) from STDs include:

  • Practicing sound genital hygiene
  • Using a condom during sexual intercourse (including oral and anal)
  • Avoiding abusive drug/alcohol consumption
  • Abstaining from sex

A Word from Same Day STD Testing

Any sexually active person can get an STD at any point in their life. And just because certain infections are more common for college students, other diseases like herpes and HIV still pose a significant worry for young adults. (In fact, the highest amount of new HIV diagnoses occur in people aged 20-29.) In order to ensure your own wellness, make it a point to visit a testing center near you regularly. Remember, you can always contact one of our team members here at 844-394-8520. We’re ready to answer any questions you may have and help you manage any sexual-health issues you may be experiencing.  

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