By Ciera Colson
February 3, 2017
In a recent study conducted by the Mesa County Health Department, the number one reported disease in Mesa County is Chlamydia also known as the “silent infection”. The initial study stated 10 other of the most reported diseases in Mesa County, one of which is gonorrhea. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are both classified as sexually transmitted infections that are spread through sexual contact, and if not treated can lead to infertility.
2015 was a record-breaking year for chlamydia, with numbers reaching higher than 450. From 2014 to 2015 there was a 21 percent increase. Most of these reported cases are among 20-29 year-olds and young teenagers – they account for 85 percent of all cases.
“College is a very sexually fueled environment, and a lot of people are having sex without protection. Hearing these statistics is very scary”, said Colorado Mesa University student. “I think the cause of it is because there is no good access to affordable STD screenings. It would be really nice if condoms and birth control were more readily available to the student population here at CMU.”
As reported by the Center of Disease Control the best preventable ways to protect yourself from contracting an STD is by abstinence, or staying in a committed monogamous relationship.
According to another CMU student, STD screenings are not affordable. “After visiting the student health center [on Orchard Ave.] I initially paid $15 as co-pay, but I received a bill a week later and I was charged $209 for a pap smear and a complete STD screening. You would think that standard health insurance would cover the costs of something that we obviously need.”
Since Mesa County has a large population of college students the health department urges 15-24 year-olds to get tested every time they switch partners.
The Mesa County health department located at 510 29 ½ Rd. tests for a range of STDs and offers free condoms. For any further questions regarding sexual health, you can contact them at 249-6900.