SDSU ranks low on STD awareness study

Brittany Westerberg

Brittany Westerberg

According to a recent survey, SDSU doesn’t make the grade in safe-sex education.

SDSU ranked 82 out of 100 schools surveyed for the Trojan Sexual Health Report Card released Sept. 19 from the makers of Trojan brand condoms and Sperling’s Best Places.

SDSU received a D for information on the Web site, an F for condom availability and another F for advice columns and question-and-answer features for sexual issues or relationships. It did receive a respectable B for HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing.

The report card results revealed that many college students today may be ill-informed about safe sex and more at risk for STIs because of a lack of access to information about sexual health and availability of condoms at some schools.

“We live in a country with the highest rates of new STIs and unintended pregnancies of any Western nation,” Jim Daniels, vice president of marketing for Trojan condoms, said in a press release.

“We feel that comprehensive education and access to information is the best way to ensure people make smart decisions about protection, should they choose to be sexually active.”

The first survey to grade sexual health of colleges and universities across the country and rank them accordingly, the Trojan Sexual Health Report Card looked at 100 public and private schools, one or more from each state, and graded them according to several criteria on a scale very similar to a student’s grade point average. SDSU earned a score of 1.1.

The criteria included resources about sexual health, information available on the school’s Web site and the availability of condoms on campus.

The only school to receive a perfect score according to this survey’s ranking system was Yale University. Other schools that ranked in the top ten included Stanford University, the University of Iowa and Duke University. Schools that ranked in the bottom ten included Texas Tech University, the University of Wyoming and the University of Notre Dame.

Freshman Noelle Rist said she has learned nothing about STIs since coming to college.

“Everything I have learned (about STIs) has been through my doctor and reading magazine articles,” said Rist, an ag education and microbiology major.

Junior Scott Reith said, “Everything I learned was on the bus in elementary school.”

“This means that we’re just not getting the information out there,” said Brenda Andersen, family nurse practitioner and associate director at SDSU Student Health and Counseling Services.

She said staff are trying their best to be more proactive in getting the students the information they need to be healthy.

Budget and staffing concerns make this difficult, however.

She does want students to know that they are in the process of updating their Web site.

Student Health offers confidential screening for STIs and other infections, and has condoms and various forms of contraception available through the pharmacy. Pamphlets and brochures on topics ranging from “Safer Sex” to “Contraception: Choosing a Method” to “How to use a Condom” are available as well.

For more information about Student Health or to make an appointment, call 688-4157. To take a look at the Trojan Sexual Health Report Card, go to:

#1.884236:2910930982.jpg:STD01.jpg::Erin Lester