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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “UA ranks 17 in sexual health, beats out ASU”

    Although the UA ranked 17 out of 100 major universities in a recent sexual health survey, sexually transmitted diseases still run rampant throughout the campus, according to Campus Health officials.

    Despite the resources and information provided for UA students, human papilloma virus, herpes and chlamydia remain the three most prominent sexually transmitted diseases at the UA, said Lee Ann Hamilton, a health educator from the Health Promotion and Preventive Services at Campus Health Service.

    The national report, released from Trojan brand condoms and Sperling’s Best Places, was based on sexual health, availability of condoms, sexual-assault services and STD testing.

    However, recent polls from Campus Health revealed that one in 10 UA students say they have an STD, but Hamilton said the actual

    If you have a penis or are having sex with one, put a condom on it. A condom is like a seat belt, it doesn’t ensure it will save you from every accident, but it will in most cases.

    – Lee Ann Hamilton, health educator from the Health Promotion and Preventive Services at Campus Health

    number is probably higher because many students do not know they have an STD.

    “”We are in a population that is very sexually experimental, so every year there is a whole new crop of people that get something,”” Hamilton said.

    Two-thirds of those who contract an STD are under 25, and one in two sexually active individuals will contract an STD by age 25, Hamilton added.

    Seventy-six percent of freshmen polled said they always or usually wear a condom, although many of the diseases can be prevented by condom use, Hamilton said.

    “”If you have a penis or are having sex with one, put a condom on it,”” said Hamilton.

    However, using a condom does not guarantee protection from sexually transmitted diseases.

    “”A condom is like a seat belt,”” Hamilton said. “”It doesn’t ensure it will save you from every accident, but it will in most cases.””

    In the Trojan report, the UA scored an “”F”” for condom availability, but Hamilton disagreed with the mark and commended the UA for the resources it provides for sexually concerned students.

    Some UA students take note of these efforts as well.

    “”I noticed some posters already, and I’ve only been here a month, which is pretty good,”” said Mary Turner, a first-year graduate student in Latin American studies.

    Hamilton said while the UA does not provide free condoms other than those distributed at sex seminars and presentations on campus, condoms can be found at the U-Mart, Highland Market and the UA pharmacy.

    Campus Health provides testing for HIV, herpes and HPV and treats a lot of genital warts, chlamydia and gonorrhea.

    In addition, a nurse in the Women’s Health Clinic answers questions about sexually transmitted diseases and sexual health advice to concerned students all day, Hamilton said.

    Hamilton also gave recognition to SexTalk, the UA’s sex advice column in the Arizona Daily Wildcat; SexTalk Express, the online version of the column; and a newsletter sent every month to residence halls regarding sexual health.

    But Barney Jordan, an undeclared freshman, said he does not recognize the university’s attempts to provide sexual awareness for the campus.

    “”I haven’t seen anything anywhere,”” Jordan said. “”The only thing I’ve seen was a newsletter in the mail about premature ejaculation.””

    Hamilton said not all UA students are having sex.

    Of the 3,000 students polled, 36 percent said they had not had sex, whereas 20 years ago, 27 percent of UA students said they had not had sex.

    Hamilton credits this drop in sexual activity to the abstinence movement in the education system and the public knowledge of the rise of STDs.

    The Centers for Disease Control recently approved a new vaccine for HPV, called Gardasil, and protects against types 16 and 18, which cause 70 percent of cervical cancer cases, and types 6 to 11, which cause 90 percent of genital warts cases, Hamilton said.

    Some insurance companies still do not cover the drug and must decide on qualifications for coverage of this vaccine, but the UA does administer the vaccine to students.

    The target age for the vaccine is 11- to 26-year-olds who are not sexually active, and Hamilton said there is a good chance a person will never get HPV after this vaccination.

    Hamilton said she hopes that within 10 years, Gardasil will be a part of vaccine protocols in middle schools.

    Yale University was at the top of the Trojan sexual health report, while Brigham Young University came in last. Arizona State University was ranked No. 70.

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