Wichita State uses education, testing to combat rising STD numbers

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) It's a national issue: growing sexually transmitted disease totals across every state. It's a topic that many aren't comfortable addressing, but it's being faced head-on at Wichita State University with work to combat the rising numbers.

"I think some people take it seriously, some people don't because a lot of people don't realize how much of a risk it actually is and how high the rates actually are," says Wichita State junior Sara Idol.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention released numbers from 2018 showing certain STDs have increased by as much as 105 percent in the last four years. Among those increases, there are now more than 3,000 chlamydia case, the CDC reports.

Wichita State is using the statistics to better inform students about STDs and raise awareness around campus.

"People are concerned about it, not concerned over the top, but I think they're aware," says WSU Health Services Director Camille Childers.

Childres says while WSU hasn't seen an increase in gonorrhea or chlamydia like much of Kansas has, that reaffirms the university's education efforts.

"Many people aren't comfortable talking about sexual health," she says. "The reality is it's part of who we are as human beings. We have free testing events. We had one in September and we had over 100 students come in and get tested."