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Condom Sense: Trojan Ranks 13 Most Sexually Healthy Colleges
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Well, here's some good news: A growing number of campus health and wellness offices, along with sex experts, want to help ease your nightmares and are taking steps to make sexual health a priority at their schools. And guess who's helping them help your kids stay STD free?
Trojan. The condom giant just released its fifth annual Sexual Health Report Card, which looked at 141 colleges and ranked them according to the quality and accessibility of their sexual health resources. The report zeroes in on 12 categories ranging from contraceptive availability and STD testing to sexual assault programs, according to a news release. Each school was given a "GPA" based on its average in the areas, with 4.0, naturally, being the highest possible rating.
Columbia University in New York City topped the honor roll with a 3.70, distinguishing itself with Go Ask Alice, a comprehensive website that allows students to submit questions anonymously. Current topics span the health scope: "Keeping the flow with a condom," "Numbing lube safety for anal sex" and "Quick and healthy bag lunches."
Michigan State was ranked second with a 3.61, followed by Ohio State University. Also making the honor roll: University of Michigan, 3.55; Brown University, 3.50; University of Iowa, 3.49; University of Oregon, 3.44; Princeton University, 3.41; Rutgers, 3,38; University of Minnesota, 3.37; Western Michigan University, 3.28; Cornell, 3.22; and Yale, 3.17.
The idea is that by making students aware of their school's sex health status, it will instigate change, Trojan representative Bruce Tetreault, says in the release. The company decided to launch the study years ago in response to the rising rate of sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) among young people, he adds.
According to the latest Center for Disease Control and Prevention report in 2008, STDs are a growing public health challenge in the United States. The CDC estimates there are approximately 19 million new STD infections each year -- almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24. The cost of STDs to the U.S. health care system is estimated to be as much as $15.9 billion annually.
"We found the numbers unacceptable, and wanted to make students aware of how their schools ranked in terms of sexual health," Tetreault says in the release.
Bert Sperling, owner of the research firm that partnered with Trojan to administer the survey, says all schools have shown improvement in the past five years, and that students at Arizona State and Northwestern University, among others, have taken action in an effort to up their schools' rankings.
Although the ratings only cover a small portion of the approximately 2,000 4-year institutions in the United States, Sperling says 30 percent of American undergraduates attend the colleges studied.