TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The University of Arizona has moved up significantly in its sexual health ranking, according to the 7th annual Trojan Sexual Health Report Card. The rating is done based accessibility of sexual health resources and amount of information available to students.
David Salafsky, the Director of Health Promotion and Preventive Services at UA Campus Health says the UA has a history of supporting sexual health. In the student newspaper, "The Daily Wildcat," faculty have published a weekly "SexTalk" column which provides a forum for realistic, open conversations about sex.
The University recently started "Free Condom Friday," which provides students free condoms in order to practice safe sex. Salafsky says college-aged students have a high risk for STDs and unplanned pregnancies, so it is of benefit for the community at large to see forward-thinking sexual health on campus.
Emily Lyons is a Ph.D student at the UA. A California native, Lyons says she's thankful she can get her birth control and women's wellness exams done right on campus.
"I think Tucson can be hard to get around," Lyons said. "I think there's a lot of diversity in the types of resources available and how affordable they are."
The UA has its own pharmacy, tests and treats STD's, and provides a growing number of campus resources, many available free to students. All are among the reasons "Trojan's Sexual Health Report Card" gave the UA a top 10 ranking.
"There's taboos around the topic," Salafsky said. "It hinders knowledge, it hinders education, which in turn influences behavior."
To banish taboos, the department writes a weekly column in the student newspaper called "SexTalk," which answers student questions about sex.
"It's probably one of the longest running columns of its kind on a college campus across the country," Salafsky said.
Young adults are disproportionately affected by STDs. The Pima County Health Department says UA Campus Health is a key ally in managing things like chlamydia in our community. Cases in Arizona have steadily been going up since 2006.
The CDC defines sexual health as, "a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence."
For more on the rankings, visit the following link: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/university-of-illinois-dethrones-columbia-university-to-take-top-spot-in-the-2012-trojan-sexual-health-report-card-rankings-175387711.html
Link to Pima County Health resource information: http://www.pimahealth.org/family/
Link to UA Campus Health Services: http://www.health.arizona.edu/