“Don’t get pregnant and don’t get an STD.”
An anonymous public relations and advertising major rolled her eyes as her mother said this while moving her into her freshman dorm. A year and a few drunken hookups later, the student sat in Chapman’s health center waiting to hear if she had chlamydia.
The anonymous student is not an anomaly: the most commonly-treated sexually transmitted infection for both men and women at Chapman is chlamydia, according to Director of Student Health Jacqueline Deats.
Chapman’s health center has seen 200 students for specific STI testing in the last year, according to Deats. The health center has two categories of testing: sexually transmitted infections and general gynecology. The health center has seen 516 female patients that have opted for STI testing when they visited for their general gynecology appointment in the last year, Deats said.
The anonymous female student was one of those 516.
The student found out she had Chlamydia the summer before entering her sophomore year at Chapman. After receiving the news, she said she didn’t know whether to be more concerned about treating her STI or figuring out how she got it.
“I wasn’t extremely promiscuous, but I also certainly did not have a boyfriend,” she said. “You could say I had about four boyfriends.”
Promiscuity is not so much a factor as commonality when it comes to chlamydia. There have been a reported 1.59 million cases of chlamydia in the United States since 2015, according to the Center for Disease Control.
The Center for Disease Control concluded that sexually transmitted infections occur widely among college students. Chlamydia is most common between ages 15 and 24, causing the STI to spread like wildfire on college campuses.
“I was worried I had already given it to someone else, but there was no way I would have casually texted one of the four guys I
had slept with to let them know I had chlamydia,” the student said.
Instead, she used an internet resource to tell the men they could potentially have contracted an STI.
“I found this website that let me anonymously send a text message that told each of the guys I had slept with to get tested,” she said.
The student was able to take medication from the health center to treat her STI. She said her takeaway from the experience was to take advantage of the condoms that the health center gives out for free.