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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


STD tests rise at Campus Health

In the weeks immediately following spring break, Campus Health Urgent Care has seen an increased student concern about sexually transmitted diseases.

There were 159 STD screening requests between March 15 and April 1, said Lisette LeCorgne, a nurse practitioner at Campus Health Services. During the same time last year, there were 150 requests.

“”(Normally) we have maybe 130 requests for STD screenings,”” LeCorgne said. “”It’s really not that big of a jump for spring break. Overall, we’re seeing more informational visits.””

The increase in STD concern and screening started the last two days of spring break and has continued, said Sharidan Overland, a nursing supervisor at Campus Health Services.

LeCorgne, a 25-year employee, believes technology has played a role in the way people go to Campus Health.

“”I think a huge difference in people coming in for screenings now versus the past is the Internet and people being able to research their questions,”” LeCorgne said. “”This technology seems to have limited a lot of what we see for requests for testing. I think that by the time they come in here for testing today, they have a higher index of suspicion for disease than, say, 10 years ago, before people were clearly able to research their own information on WedMD.”” 

LeCorgne said Campus Health used to see more generic questions about symptoms.

“”Everyone is so much better educated now, and I believe they are using that information to their protection,”” LeCorgne said.

Certain sexually transmitted diseases do not have visible symptoms, but LeCorgne said individuals without visible symptoms still come in to Campus Health at times.

“”You will not see a bump (on) students coming in to Campus Health after spring break necessarily because their symptoms are not going to show up,”” LeCorgne said. “”When you’re looking at something like HIV or hepatitis, you may initially be completely a-symptomatic, so you need to get serial testing done and wait a certain (amount) of time to know whether or not you’ve developed anti-body.””

LeCorgne said students don’t always come to Campus Health in the immediate days following spring break because they know that an STD screening may not be able to pick up on newly contracted infections.

“”Even if you became exposed, the encounter you had yesterday or four days ago isn’t going to show up in some of those diseases, and everyone knows that, so they may not go into Campus Health yet,”” LeCorgne said. “”They have narrowed it down to, ‘Oh God, I have to worry about HIV.’ That person may wait … because they know testing for that is not necessarily going to help them right then.””

Aside from signing up for sexually transmitted disease screenings, students are also going to Campus Health with general information questions.

“”Some students haven’t been forthcoming about their actual behavior during spring break, but they’re saying, ‘Does Campus Health do STD screening? Can I get in? How quickly can I get in?'”” Overland said.

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