Increase in STIs does not hit SMU

A national news report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that STDs are on the rise in the US; however, the Co-Medical Director at SMU, says that is not the case here on campus.

“We have not seen a change in terms of the number of positive lab test results,” Nancy Merrill said. “It’s especially stable the past few years. In fact, if anything, it’s gone down a little bit.”

In 2019, there have been over 1.7 million cases of chlamydia nationwide, which is a 3% increase from 2017. The SMU Health Center treats some cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea.

“We still see the unsuspected positive chlamydia test results, usually the gonorrhea tests are expected,” Merrill said. “We’re not seeing as much HIV right now on this campus, I think most of that pertains to IV drug abuse.”

The Health Center does its part to prevent STIs by providing free condoms to students throughout campus.

“Once you get a sexually transmitted infection you think ‘Oh my God, that could happen to me,’” Merrill said. “We always tell people you can become infertile from STIs, so a condom is one way you can help preserve your fertility and that usually seems to get the message across.”