David Park

JRNM 151 Student

Students often confront challenges during their college experience such as difficult courses and holding a job.  However, some students have a more personal obstacle to overcome.

  An anonymous Lorain County Community College student with a sexually transmitted disease said “living with it is tough, especially when finding a significant other, you could be the nicest guy in the world and still be the worst guy ever for telling the truth about your past slip ups.” The student then describes his experience of his friends finding out, “some of them are cool with it and we laugh while others treat me like I’m some sort of monster.”

STDs are a silent epidemic that has been affecting college students for hundreds of years, even today with modern medicine STDs are spread rapidly through college students and young adults. Most STDs take months or even a year to develop obvious symptoms, and most of them are symptoms of common illnesses. The best way to tell a person has STDs is to get tested at a local hospital or planned parenthood.

In the United States alone college students and young adults have a higher risk of obtaining an STD rather than an average adult. According to the Center for Disease Control’s website, about half of all 20 million cases of STDs in the United States are found in high school to college students, this is mainly due to a person having multiple sex partners and not practicing in safe sex habits like wearing a condom or abstinence. The most common STD for college students is Chlamydia, with college students contracting about 65% of all 1.59 million recorded in the united states in 2016.

The exclusion of someone who has a disease is not right and uncalled for, people wouldn’t exclude their friends for having the flu which is one of the most common symptoms for HIV. Anyone can have a sex life even if they have an STD, just practice safe sex by wearing a condom and getting checked before and after any sexual contact.

Biotechnology and HIV teacher Dr. Harry Kestler knows a great deal about STDs and had a lot of information and opinions to share. “Young people are notorious for not appropriately judging their risk level activity.” Kestler also advises safe sex and abstinence but also said, “Abstinence is good but has a failure rate, be prepared for the option.” While condoms have a 97% rate of protection abstinence has 100% until the person who pledged themselves has sex. Other manipulations such as drug or alcohol use, peer pressure, or a non consensual encounter can prove to be a variable in the spreading of STDs, and the failure rate of abstinence. When asked about STDs Kestler stated “it’s been a problem throughout history.” Even in a community college as small as LCCC it is a problem, after personally asking 100 people if they had STDs a total of 10 anonymous people confessed that they did.

Having safe sex is not hard at all, just go to a pharmacy to buy condoms and be honest with your partner. Getting tested is highly encouraged at any local planned parenthood, there’s even one near campus at 200 W 9th Street, YWCA Women’s Center, Lorain, OH.