Health Center Launches New STI Testing Clinic With Reported STIs Reaching All-Time High in U.S.
The GYT Clinic is available 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday the health center is open.
In 2015, more than 1.5 million cases of chlamydia were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — that's the most reported disease in the history of the CDC in a single year. Overall, the CDC has found that the rates of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis — the three most commonly reported STIs in the nation — are at an all-time high.
With young adults, 15 to 24 years old, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the reported chlamydia diagnoses and half of the gonorrhea diagnoses, STI testing, prevention and treatment has never been more important on college campuses.
To help battle the alarming and rising trends of STIs, Pat Walker Health Center has launched a "Get Yourself Tested" (GYT) walk-in testing clinic for chlamydia and gonorrhea — the two most common STIs among college students.
"Young adults account for nearly half of all newly reported STI cases in the United States, a trend we continue to see on a year-to-year basis," said Dr. Huda Sharaf, medical director for the Pat Walker Health Center. "What's more alarming is that many do not know they're infected because STIs often show no symptoms, so getting tested is the only way to know for sure."
It's estimated that nearly 20 million new STIs are contracted in the United States, half from young adults. Most STI cases go undiagnosed and untreated, putting people at risk for severe and potentially permanent health effects. The newly launched GYT Clinic hopes to encourage more students to recognize getting tested should be a priority when engaging in sexual activity.
The clinic is available from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday the health center is open.
The GYT Clinic offers easy and convenient urine testing for patients experiencing no symptoms, and can be billed to insurance or self-pay. Patients can expect their results within 2-3 business days. The Health Center encourages any patient with symptoms to make an appointment with a medical provider for further evaluation and likely, additional testing.
Prevention is just as important as testing and treatment
Despite the increase among young people, STIs are preventable. While practicing abstinence is the surest way to prevent contracting STIs, using condoms and having fewer partners can greatly reduce risk.
"Practicing safe sex should always be a priority for students, but the good news is chlamydia and gonorrhea can be treated," said Sharaf. "However if left untreated, they can lead to serious health risks."
Although GYT is a national campaign, schools, community organizations, health care providers, and health departments across the country have adapted GYT to fit their local demographic and host testing and awareness events.
"The health center is proud to join this movement of educating our campus community on the importance of STI prevention, and offering treatment when needed," said Sharaf.
Zac Brown, assistant director of communications
Pat Walker Health Center
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