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Naked affection fosters infection

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Look at the people in your immediate vicinity. More than likely one of them has had a sexually-transmitted disease (STD).

Melanie Bronstein is one of two nurse practitioners who run the STD clinic at the EC student health center. She says college students are contracting STDs at an alarming rate.

“Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common, then chlamydia, then gonorrhea. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) actually appears a lot as well, Bronstein said.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 2 sexually active people will get an STD by the age of 25 with more than 50 percent contracting HPV.

“HPV is a risk factor for cancer, and young people don’t seem to be worried about it,” Bronstein said.

Bronstein added that young people seem to be more worried about contracting herpes.

According to the CDC, 1 in 6 people are infected with herpes in the U.S.

Debbie Conover, coordinator of the student health center, said that the health center is doing its part to combat the issue by offering free condoms to students.

There is also an STD clinic every Tuesday from 1-4 p.m., and students can get tested without an appointment, Conover said.

Testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea is done by urine sample; the test for syphilis is done by blood test, and HIV tests, which oare offered twice a month on Tuesdays, are done by cheek swab with the results being available in 15 minutes, Bronstein said.

Bronstein thinks the importance of testing cannot be stressed enough. She said that testing is important because transmission rates and incubation periods vary.

“Anytime you have unprotected sexual intercourse, meaning without a condom, you are at risk for an STD and should be tested,” Bronstein added.

According to the CDC website, “If you are a sexually active female 25 years or younger, get tested every year for chlamydia and other STDs.”

Bronstein urges the use of condoms and recommends getting vaccinated for HPV.

“The Gardisil vaccine is now being offered for free to students who qualify,” Bronstein said.

The CDC advises that the most reliable ways to avoid transmission of STDs are to abstain or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner, but Bronstein feels that even those who are in monogamous relationships should be tested.

“If there is any question in your mind that your partner may have had sex with someone else, and you and that partner are not using condoms, you should be tested,” Bronstein said.

If students are uncomfortable being tested in the student health center, the health center will provide literature and information on other places for testing including Women’s Clinic at Harbor General, South Bay Family Medical Center and Planned Parenthood.

 

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The student news site of El Camino College
Naked affection fosters infection