–Assistant Perspectives Editor
As college students, STD awareness is becoming more and more important for many of us. There are many sexually transmitted diseases that we are unaware of, and we are unaware of the many ways we can get them.
“Even grandma kissing you at Christmas might pass on cold sores (a herpes virus). Chlymidia is a common STD and most people have never heard of it,” Dr. Andrew Lange, said an article for the HuffingtonPost.
“Venereal diseases are often undiagnosed or hidden by symptoms that are common to other diseases. You can have an STD and never know it.”
The best way to know is by getting tested, and even going with your partner to be tested together.
Students here at APSU can be tested on campus in our health services clinic. Students can be tested for various STD’s.
It is also important to make ourselves aware of sexually transmitted diseases and how they can be passed.
Some can be passed even without sexual intercourse. There is no contraceptive that can fully prevent a person from getting any and every STD.
“The risk of passing on STDs is increased by the fact that the public is not familiar with many of the common symptoms of STDs or that they resemble other illnesses like the flu or more common skin eruptions,” said Dr. Andrew Lange.
Some STD’s can be cured, some cannot. Herpes is an STD that cannot be cured.
Herpes is one of the most common diseases that is passed without a person even knowing they have it.
According to the CDC, “You can get genital herpes even if your partner shows no signs of the infection. If you have any symptoms, like a sore on your genitals, especially one that periodically recurs, laboratory tests can help determine if you have genital herpes.”
Many STDs can become severe if not treated in a timely manner.
Hepatitis is an STD that is also the leading cause of liver cancer.
HIV is an STD that many people, especially college students, are not as precautious of as they should be.
According to the CDC, each person that is sexually active should be tested at least once a year. There are multiple ways to get HIV and there are also treatments for it. It is important to find out as soon as possible if you may have this disease, because if not treated it can become AIDS. AIDS is the final stage of HIV and is a disease of the immune system which causes deadly conditions.
STD’s can make the idea of sexual intercourse very scary. The goal of STD awareness is not to stop people from having sex, it is about making sure they are aware of who they are having sex with.
I went to get tested here at our health service clinic and it was a very good experience. Our nurse practitioners did a good job at making me feel comfortable. They also informed me about many STDs I did not know about, and the different ways I could get them. There are different ways to be tested including a physical exam, blood sample, urine sample, and a saliva sample.
Each of these can help diagnose a patient for different types of STDs. It is important to tell whoever will be testing you everything they may need to know about you sexually before being tested. To get more information about sexually transmitted diseases and to get tested confidentially, visit our health service clinic in Ellington Building, room 104.