Chlamydia has been the leading STD prevalent in the Maricopa County area, but health officials are saying that the growing problem is now Gonorrhea, which is up 18% since last year; an all-time high.
Arizona State University makes up less than 2% of 4.1 million population of the Maricopa county area, but over half of the Gonorrhea and Chlamydia cases treated are of students, according to Arizona Health Matters.
Health officials say the growing problem needs to be addressed, and fast, before it comes an even larger number.
The United States averages about 123 cases per 100,000 people, while Maricopa county tops that with about 150 cases per 100,000 people, and growing.
According to STDcheck.com, Arizona State University has the highest STD count of all Universities within the United States.
The problem is not the sexual activities of students, but that many are unaware of the likelihood of obtaining a STD and resources available to ASU students for no charge.
“We offer resources that many students aren’t aware of, which is unfortunate,” a Care Advisor at STD Test Express said.
The STD Test Express center for health and sexual education now offers free STD screening and testing at their offices for students at Arizona State University.
“Arizona State is a school that should be recognized for superior academics and I find it disheartening to have a serious matter produce such a negative image, mocking us as a university,” Alyssa Redman said, a former student at Arizona State University. Redman studied STD’s on campus and was a large advocate for safe sex.
“As ASU students, we should strive to alter the way others perceive us by improving our health and awareness,” Redman said, “In my years at ASU, one in four students had an STD.”
Even if a student knowingly contracts an STD, health officials say that students are less likely to seek treatment immediately due to the feeling of embarrassment.
According to ArizonaHealthMatters.org, “Gonorrhea has developed resistance to antibiotics over the years, complicating treatment. Left untreated, gonorrhea can cause serious and permanent health problems in both women and men. In women, gonorrhea is a common cause of pelvic inflammatory disease.”
The huge health risk of coming in contact with these STD’s that are on the rise is the aftermath that they cause, which can last a lifetime.
Students and staff are continuously working to create as many health resources as possible for those who come in contact with these diseases, but the problem continues to be initial education on the topic.