According to the United States Center for Disease Control, nearly half of all new sexually transmitted diseases diagnosed each year involve young adults aged 15 to 24.
With many Colorado State University students in this age range, knowing the various sexual health services that are offered can benefit all students – regardless of sexual activity.
According to Gwen Sieving, manager of sexual health and outreach for the CSU Health Network, the University offers not only traditional medical services, but free consultations to students concerned about sexual health as well.
“I think a lot of students don’t know that they can actually meet with a medical provider and go through all of those very specific details that apply specifically to themselves,” Sieving said. “And, it’s free.”
These consultations allow students to meet with medical professionals to go over their own personal risks and how to lower those risks. Consultations do not include free STD tests; students must pay for each test.
In addition to free sexual health consultations, the CSU Health Network sponsors a Get Yourself Tested campaign each year following spring break; during which, chlamydia and gonorrhea tests are about half the normal cost.
According to Sieving, GYT campaigns are held at universities across the nation in March and April, just in time to benefit college students returning from spring break.
“It’s a higher risk time,” Sieving said. “The students might have exposure that maybe they don’t during the school year.”
CSU junior Kari Lynn is a strong supporter of the University’s sexual health services.
“My friends and I all went and got checked last year during the (GYT) campaign,” Lynn said.
Lynn, a health and human sciences student, believes being tested should be a requirement for any sexually active individual.
“There’s nothing better than hearing you have a clean bill of health,” Lynn said.
Students regularly ask Sieving how often they should be tested. Her answer: anytime you change partners.
“If somebody shows you their test results from three months ago that says they are clean, that really doesn’t mean a whole lot,” Sieving said. “There are many things that could have happened between now and three months ago.”
Sophomore civil engineering student RJ Smith agrees.
“I think if you’re going to be sexually active, you have a responsibility to get yourself checked (for STIs),” Smith said. “It doesn’t mean you’re gross or anything, in fact, quite the opposite, you’re being responsible.”
The CSU Health Center is located at 600 South Drive. To schedule a free consultation appointment, female students may call the Women’s Clinic at (970) 491-1754 and male students may call Men’s Health at (970) 491-7121.
Statistics concerning CSU students and STDs are unavailable because the University only collects data on chlamydia and gonorrhea. According to Sieving, the on-campus rates for these two infections are comparable and in-line with the national average.
“Remember: many STDs, not all, are curable,” Sieving said. “But all are treatable.”
Collegian Reporter Erick Plattner can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ErickPlattner.
STD Testing Prices:
Chlamydia – $35
Gonorrhea – $20
HIV – $30
Throat Culture – $22