“Oversharing” is not caring!!

sexually transmitted diseases

Jenn Hulse (1 PM Micro, but likes the 11 AM class better) offers a warning about sharing Too Much Information with social media and elsewhere. Most people do a relatively good job of keeping their Facebook status clean, but do we keep everything else clean? Apparently not! Via an article from the LaVerne University “Campus Times,” here is Jenn’s summary:   (note from Singleton: I will give out a free bonus point to the first person who can tell me what famous movie from 1989 was set very close–within 5 miles–to LaVerne University.)

Would you share your STD status on the internet? College students find it normal to “overshare” information. Most of their lives are broadcasted through Facebook status updates or typed out in 140 characters or less on Twitter. There seems to be something else college students are sharing- sexually transmitted diseases. Dr. Peter Kerndt of LA County Department of Public Health says that one in four people under the age of 25 have a sexually transmitted disease. Most college students would say that STDs are not something they usually talk about with their friends or in general. It might come up in jokes but not really as a serious issue among their peer group. Although students might not be talking to their friends they are still talking to Health Services. Health Services would say that a fair amount of students go in to be tested for STDs. If a woman comes in to be tested they immediately test for two of the most common STDs in the college age population, which are gonorrhea and chlamydia. Some students are aware of the ignorance of their fellow peers and believe that morality is diminishing in people and are sleeping around being careless.

There are many other viruses that can be spread sexually that are not categorized as an STD. One of those is HPV or human papillomavirus. The reason for it not being listed as an STD is because it is so common and there is no treatment. There is a recommended three-dose vaccine that defends against 70 different types of HPV for men and women. Vaccinations are important because HPV can cause genital wards or worse, cervical cancer. According to the Center for Disease Control, Human Papillomavirus is the most common sexually transmitted disease on college campuses. It is normally asymptomatic making the rate of transmission even higher because it is harder to detect.

The second most common sexually transmitted among college kids is chlamydia. The third most common is genital herpes. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the two most common reportable communicable diseases in the United States. Diagnoses of chlamydia have been increasing for more than five years now. The two diseases are easy to diagnose and treated with antibiotics. Usually asymptomatic, chlamydia and gonorrhea can lead to infertility, pelvic inflammatory disease, permanent internal scarring, chronic pain, and potentially life-threatening tubal pregnancy. Scarring is also the leading cause of maternal death in pregnancy complications.

It is very normal for people to feel embarrassed about going to the health center to be tested so LA County Department of Health has started to offer a home-test kit that provides results within a week. Sexual health is one of the most important things for college age people. Although the discussion of sexually transmitted diseases is broadening and students may agree with the need to stay on top of their own STD status it will be a long time before people are posting their STD status on Facebook or for it to become a trending tweet.


About ycpmicro

My name is David Singleton, and I am an Associate Professor of Microbiology at York College of Pennsylvania. My main course is BIO230, a course taken by allied-health students at YCP. Views on this site are my own.

Posted on November 29, 2012, in Guest Post, The more you know, Yikes!. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Can I get in on this bonus? And do I get double bonus for having watched this movie the other night?

    • No, because you should be studying, not watching movies. #nobonusforyou #wherearemytuitiondollarsgoing?

      • I hadn’t had classroom study foray that point. And Amanda had never seen it- which was unacceptable.

      • Wow. My kindle really messed that comment up. That should be: I hadn’t had class to study for at that point. And Amanda had never seen it- which was unacceptable.

  2. I seriously am so amazed by the statistics for STDs. I just find it hard to believe so many people have them. Also, haha at your tuition dollars^ and Bonus: Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure? #thatbetterberight

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