One in three sexually active people will have contracted a sexually transmitted disease by age 24, according to a new campaign for STD awareness.
MTV is pairing with the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation to create It’s Your (Sex) Life, a program that will increase awareness and encourage young adults to get tested.
Nikki Kay, a media representative from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said she anticipates more than 19 million new cases of STDs in 2009 in the United States.
Kay said that of those cases, 10 million new cases were among people aged 15-24.
Kay said women are more likely than men to treat STDs in early stages because of annual gynecological exams.
“Women are more likely to be screened,” Kay said. “But women also face the most severe health consequences.”
Those consequences include pelvic inflammatory disease, physical pain, sores and infertility, she said.
Mary Rae, director of Health Services, wrote in an e-mail that students can get tested for STDs on campus.
Rae wrote that the average cost of an exam on campus was $72, but emphasized that cost varies depending on the type of test ordered.
The program reported that most people don’t know they have contracted an STD because they don’t immediately display symptoms.
Kay said a misconception students have is that STDs are temporary. While some can be treated and others are curable, there are no permanent cures for diseases like human papillomavirus and HIV.
Bonnie Reay, a freshman prebusiness major, said she thinks the program is a good idea.
“I’m really thrilled to hear that a major network is taking initiative to promote awareness and responsibility to its young viewers,” Reay said.
Rae also wrote that the university does not keep statistics on the number of students who have been treated for STDs.
Kay said students looking to get tested for STDs can enter their ZIP code at www.findSTDtest.org to find a location close to them.