UMass health services and STDs
So after my last post, I began to wonder exactly what is being done at the UMass Amherst campus about STDs as well as other schools around the country. I wanted to know what kind of information was out there and mostly what kind of information was on the UMass health services website.
After some searching, I was able to find that UMass’ health services site has a good amount on it about STD from what the symptoms are of each to all different kinds of contraception. It was not too difficult to find, which was good, but because the topic is something so serious on campus and that more people deal with, I feel it should be something on the home page.
I understand that it is flu season and that swine flu is going around, hence why it is one of the first things you see when you go to the website, but think about this: Do you think more students at UMass have swine flu or and STD? Or even, over this school year, will more people contract H1N1 or an STD? I’d be willing to bet in one month more students will contract and STD then the number of students who will catch swine flu this entire year.
So think about it, where should health services focus be? Not that I’m saying they should forget about swine flu, but there may be bigger issues at stake, things that are being spread around campus a lot more. I know swine flu is very contagious and on a college campus there are a lot of people who get close to each other and could easily pass it on. But there are also a lot of students having sex as well.
I decided to take a look at other university health services website and was disappointed to find much of the same. H1N1 is the top thing on the Univeristy of Texas health services site (all though I did like the web address to it healthyhorns.utexas.edu) as well as the website of Boston College’s health services. I did however find some numbers while scanning BC’s site that supports my notion. It states that one in every four people will contract an STD in their lifetime and that nearly two-thirds of all STD cases occur to those under 25, coincidentally the same age range of most students in college.
Lets look at some numbers for the swine flu to compare, according to the Center of Disease Control, there were 43,771 reported confirmed or probable cases in the United States from mid-April to late-July. According to a the US Census Bearaue , the US population is over 307 million. That means approximately one in every 7,013 people in the US will catch swine flu. With over 26,000 students on campus according to College Board, that means about three students would have reported having the swine flu compared to 6,500 that would have an STD. These are not exact numbers, just my own calculations, but what do you think is more serious?