IâÄôm appalled by the headlines that the Minnesota Daily will write just to grab a readerâÄôs attention; from âÄúU blows sexual health report card,âÄù to âÄúHIV/AIDS still tenacious, even at U.âÄù
Anyone reading the Daily who is unfamiliar with the University of Minnesota might believe weâÄôre just about the unhealthiest school in the country.
The picture that the Daily is painting, however, is contrary to where our University actually stands in regards to sexual health.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that roughly 0.4 percent of the U.S. population is living with HIV, according to 2008 data. In the 2010 College Student Health Survey conducted by Boynton Health Service, 0.3 percent of Twin Cities University students reported being diagnosed with HIV. Our school is around, if not below, the estimated national data.
The University has also taken measures to ensure a healthy student population. Along with collecting data on student sexual health, Boynton Health Service offers two ways insured students can get tested for HIV at no cost.
One way is that a student could either see a provider, or he or she could get a rapid, 15-minute test from a peer coordinator like me. In the latter option, the test would not show up on the studentâÄôs medical record nor be processed by his or her insurance company.
Sexual Health Awareness and Disease Education, a student group on campus, also provides free safer sex supplies like condoms, dental dams and lubricant to all students. Students should take advantage of these resources and get tested.
The facts show that our school is not as unhealthy as the Daily may lead us to believe.