Increased importance of STI screening before returning to university

SIOUX FALLS, SD (Dakota News Now) – A drastic increase in the number of sexually transmitted infections is prompting health officials to sound the alarm, encouraging students to take extra precautions.

“Sexually transmitted infections are more common than many realize. 1 in 5 people have an STI and more than half of our new cases are in people under the age of 25,” said Emily Boysen, a certified nurse practitioner at Sanford.

Boysen wants to emphasize the importance of testing.

“Sexually active people should be routinely screened for STIs, we recommend that you come in for an STI test before you are sexually active and that all partners involved come in for a test,” Boysen said.

Boysen thinks the increased spread within this age group could be because some people carry an STI and don’t even know it.

“The symptoms of STIs are different for everyone, but the majority of individuals are asymptomatic or have no symptoms at all and that could be a reason why they are spreading so quickly in our population,” Boysen said.

Even if you are asymptomatic, it is still important to know if you have been infected.

“If STIs are left untreated, they can lead to more serious health problems, such as increasing your risk of contracting HIV or leading to pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility or neonatal complications during pregnancy,” says Boysen.

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