Going to college gives many young adults an excuse to live carelessly and free. Students begin to face serious issues with nonchalant attitudes. Many students do not verse themselves in sex education- eventually causing many unwanted, uncomfortable and unfortunate circumstances.
“The three most common cases of sexually transmitted diseases amongst Florida A&M University are chlamydia, gonorrhea and, increasingly, syphilis,” says Tanya Tatum, the director of Student Health Services on FAMU’scampus.
Students can go to the Health Center located in Foote-Hilyer for most of their medical needs. The Health Center is a reliable resource for students who have questions about their bodies. The center even offers free HIV testing.
“Students think they have something when they come in and usually can notice symptoms,” said Tatum.
The students who notice symptoms are fortunate to have detected them. Some STD’s show no symptoms right away. These STD’s can go unnoticed for weeks, sometimes even a few months. If left untreated, chlamydia, for example, can cause serious or permanent damage to male and female reproductive organs.
“I’ve never come in contact with anyone who has an STD,” said Falavia Jones, 21, a cashier at McDonald’s in Tallahassee. “Knowing someone who has contracted any of those diseases was all I needed to know to be even more careful than I already am when it comes to sex.”
According to USA Today, one in four college students have an STD. This may be attributed to the decrease in monogamy on college campuses. It’s common for college students to stray from committed relationships. Being intimate with multiple people leaves you vulnerable to STD’s. USA Today also says 72 percent of students enrolled in college have “hooked up.” Forty percent say “hooking up” involves sexual intercourse, while 35 percent agree the term strictly refers to touching and kissing. Twelve percent say it’s hand-to-genital stimulation.
“I’m not surprised,” said David Spells, 22, a junior psychology student from Jacksonville, Fla. “We are living in an age where people are careless and don’t think about the consequences.”
If you’re seeking information, you can speak to a staff member at the Health Center table on “Set Fridays” or walk in during operating hours. If discretion is a concern, you can schedule an appointment at any of the Leon County Health Department clinics, go to an Urgent Care center or any doctor’s office.