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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chlamydia test rise warrants awareness

Matt Murphy

There are certain words that, when placed together, make one jump to conclusions.

A word like “chlamydia,” for instance, when placed in a sentence with “increase,” will lead to conclusions like, “Oh my god, Chico State is being overrun with chlamydia.”

This may or may not have been my brash reaction after reading the headline of an Orion story about an increase in chlamydia tests at the Student Health Center.

Upon reading further, I was able to clarify and assuage my fears that Chico State was in the midst of a chlamydia outbreak.

Chlamydia tests have increased, which really means that people are getting more educated and more tests will lead to less infections in the community.

How exactly are they being educated though?

I think Chico State is lucking out that people are becoming more aware of sexually transmitted diseases on their own, without a real sex education refresher for incoming students.

When I was a freshman, the largest emphasis was on alcohol education and making sure students knew the dangers of drinking. The only time I remember sex being addressed was an orientation with campus police officers who pretty much just told us not to rape anyone.

Completion of Alcohol Edu is required before a freshmen can do pretty much anything. I got a hard-earned C in biology, but I didn’t need Alcohol Edu to tell me that alcohol impairs judgment and leads to bad decisions.

I would rather have had to complete a course that informed me about how to prevent and deal with the consequences of bad decisions, rather than rehashing what I already knew about alcohol.

Wouldn’t it just be safe to make sure both sides of the equation are covered?

The last time I had any kind of sex education course was in my ninth grade health class. If the university thinks that’s enough for a bunch of 18 to 20-somethings living away from home for the first time, they are sorely mistaken.

Sexually transmitted diseases are scary and nobody wants any mechanical problems with their equipment, so there will always be people going to the health center to get tested.

The powers that be are playing a dangerous game of chicken assuming students will continue to educate themselves and take the initiative though. At some point the other shoe will drop, and the university will wish it had done a better job covering its bases.

Matt Murphy can be reached at [email protected] or @mattmurphy93 on Twitter.

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