U.S. News

STDs Rising at University of Central Florida

April 29, 2009

April is STD Awareness Month, and the medical director of the University of Central Florida (UCF) Health Services wants students to know they may be at risk. An increasing number of students have been diagnosed with an STD, said Michael Deichen.

All month, a sign in front of the Student Union and the Recreation and Wellness Center is promoting the awareness event. The Health Center is handing out STD information as well as giveaways such as vouchers for free HIV testing, condoms, pens, and bracelets.

According to Deichen, a study conducted in 2005 found 5.8 percent of UCF students were positive for chlamydia, which often has no symptoms. The study also found 1 percent of students tested positive for gonorrhea. Deichen said other surveys indicate that up to 50 percent of sexually active college students may be infected with human papillomavirus.

During 2008, the Health Center had 1,780 students request STD screening, said Deichen. In addition, around 9,900 females had routine exams during which they would have been offered screening for STDs.

Karen Yerkes, a nurse practitioner with Health Services, surveyed 96 female students as they came in for routine exams during the week of March 30. The purpose was to increase awareness of chlamydia and to assess how learning needs are met in the Women's Clinic. Sixty-one percent initially answered all four questions about the STD correctly. After consulting with providers, she said, all of the females correctly responded to the questions.

"We had a 100 percent learning outcome," said Yerkes. "The patients who answered incorrectly on the pre-test demonstrated learning by answering correctly on the post-test."

Back to other news for April 2009

Adapted from:
University Wire
04.23.2009; Janelle Kuehnert, Central Florida Future

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.


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