STD stats show education need

Daily Editorial Board

Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise across the state, specifically on the University of Minnesota campus. Statewide, STD rates climbed 6 percent from 2013 to 2014. On campus, they rose 1.4 percent from 2013 to 2015.
 
These new data allude to disturbing trends in a lack of sexual health knowledge, especially on the University campus. 
 
Public health officials say the statewide increase in STDs may be attributable to patients more often reporting conditions to their doctors. But at the University, that’s likely not the case. 
 
Only about half of University students use condoms, according to the most recent College Student Health Survey. This is an alarming statistic that seems like an
obvious culprit for at least some of the increase in STDs on campus. 
 
Campus officials aren’t sure why so few students are using condoms, despite Boynton Health Service handing out more than 100,000 of them each year.
 
In addition to the obvious contraceptive function of condoms, they are highly effective in preventing chlamydia — the most rapidly increasing sexually transmitted infection on campus.
 
While Boynton goes to great lengths to get condoms into students’ hands, public health officials must change their practices in getting the college-aged generation to use the crucial safety measure. 
 
Given that the prevalence of STDs in students is higher than it’s been in recent years, it’s crucial to emphasize the simple and effective protection that condoms offer.