Student Health Blog

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Why should college students worry about their health?

College life is all about freedom, excitement and meeting new people. Many people consider college to be the time of your life. What many students fail to realize, however, is that health is a major part of your college experience.

Think about it: if you were to get sick and miss a portion of your semester, you’d be missing out on a lot. You’d miss class, time with friends and opportunities to stay involved in campus groups. You don’t have to think about a serious illness for this same scenario to play out. If you aren’t paying attention to your mental and physical health, you’re missing out on things. You may have low energy, get colds often or feel extremely stressed. These factors keep you from fully enjoying the college experience.

So, college students can’t forget to prioritize their health. Maintaining your mental and physical health not only helps you have the best experience possible — it also creates lifelong habits. If you want to feel young and vibrant for years to come, you have to think about your health now. Making healthy decisions now sets the path for healthy decisions as you age!

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Vaccines and Testing: Why You Need Both

We normally think that vaccines are for kids. This is true; Kids must go in for immunizations regularly. However, there are important vaccines for people of all ages.

College students, you are no exception! As you age, your immunity to certan diseases wears off. You also are at risk for different diseases.

When you’re thinking about preventing diseases with vaccines, you should also be thinking about your current health. How is your thyroid functioning? Do you have any undetected STDs? Are you allergic to anything? Now is the time to check.

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Studying Abroad- Health Concerns

student studying abroad

Summer has arrived! You’ve got three months of glorious sunshine and no classes ahead of you. Well, most of you don’t have to worry about studying. For the rest, summer classes are approaching fast. For the most lucky group, you’re packing your bags and preparing to set off to a foreign country.

Studying abroad is one of the greatest opportunities you’ll have in college. If you’re setting off on a study abroad adventure this summer, you’ll want to be completely ready.

Before you step into the unknown, make sure you are physically and mentally ready. Your health probably isn’t your first concern while you plan your trip, but it should be on your mind.

Think about these health related issues before you leave so you won’t have to panic if a medical issue arises while you’re abroad:

1. Wellness

You may not have convenient access to doctors or pharmacies in your destination. Visit your physician for a general checkup before you leave. You never know how the traveling conditions will affect your physical and mental health, so it’s a good idea to discuss possible challenges with your doctor.

If you take prescription medicine, you’ll need to talk to your doctor about the chances of getting that medicine while you’re abroad or if you are even allowed to take that medicine with you. You may need to bring extra doses of over the counter medicine, since other countries don’t always have the same medicines available.

2. Immunizations

Your study abroad program will give you information about immunizations and health records that you need. The CDC traveler’s site has a complete and accurate list so you know you are fully prepared to travel. You’re responsible for having current immunizations. If you’re not sure, a blood test is a convenient way to check on your immunizations. Some countries require HIV tests before travel.

3. Health Insurance

We hope you don’t break a leg or come down with the flu while you’re studying abroad, but we know it happens occasionally! You need special overseas medical insurance to protect yourself from health issues. Your program or school should provide you information about affordable plans that you’ll get before you leave and discontinue when you’re back.

Get Ready for the Time of Your Life!

You have so many details to plan before you hop on the plane, but your health is important. Focusing on your health will help you have an awesome experience- when you don’t have to worry about health and safety issues, you can focus on learning and exploring your new environment!

Planning to study abroad and need to be tested?

Call ARCpoint Labs in Lawrence today.


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HERPES.

Want to know a little bit more about herpes? Well – second-hand that is?

Here’s some random info that you may not have realized:

couple-concerned-about-herpes

What is herpes?

First things first – herpes is an STD. The CDC defines it as:

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the herpes simplex viruses type 1 (HSV-1) or type 2 (HSV-2).

HSV-1 is oral herpes (sores on the mouth and lips)

HSV-2 is genital herpes (sores below waist – around genitals or rectum) (*most common form)

Herpes can be transmitted by direct contact (often sexual.) It may also be transmitted by kissing or swapping saliva. Even if sores are not present, the disease can still be transmitted.

How Common is Herpes?

The CDC says:

  • 1 out of 5 women have HSV-2 (age 14-49)
  • 1 out of 9 men have HSV-2 (age 14-49)
  • Over the past decade, the percentage of persons with genital herpes infection in the United States has remained stable.

Also,  it’s more common for a man to give a woman herpes than vice-versa.

Popular Areas for Herpes?

Although herpes is a nationwide problem – take a look at the top cities for herpes:

  1. Atlanta
  2. Washington, D.C.
  3. Chicago
  4. Milwaukee
  5. Newark
  6. St. Louis

(Take a look at all 15 cities on the herpes list from 2012!)

Is it the End of the World If You Get Herpes?

Unfortunately, there is no cure for herpes. Although symptoms may not always be present, the herpes virus will always live in your body. It can lie dormant for many years but be triggered from time to time.

Sores will appear – the goal is getting them to dry up and disappear.

But – even if you do have herpes – it’s not the end of the world. It’s so common, many people out live with this STD and find ways to manage it.

We recommend that the first step you take is finding out for sure if you have herpes. If you’ve been sexually active, especially with multiple partners, this needs to be a test you receive routinely.

If you do end up having it, inform your sexual partners. You will also want to work with your physician to receive advice on treating and managing the virus. Especially if you become pregnant.

Is herpes the end of the world? No. But do what you can from causing it to enter someone else’s.

Need an STD test? Concerned you have herpes? Come into ARCpoint Labs of Lawrence, KS to get your herpes STD test.

 


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Who’s more sexually active – young teens or college students?

young-teen-sex-statistics-vs-college-studentsMany assume that a high percentage of teens as young as 12 or 13 engage in sexual acts. Given the high occurrence of STDs among teens and societal influences, it’s not out of line to wonder if young teens engage in as much sexual behavior as college students.

But – statistics show that’s not the case. In fact, it’s not even close.

Young teen sex statistics

A study in Pediatrics and reported on by USA Today shows that many young teens are not engaging in sexual behavior. Statistics over the past 50 years have held steady. Just look at some of the findings:

Boys and girls who’ve had sex:

  • only 0.6% of 10-year-olds
  • 1.1% of 11-year-olds
  • 2.4% of 12-year-olds
  • the incidence of pregnancy among girls age 12 or younger “is minuscule.”

Read the full report from USA Today on young teens engaging in sex

At no time in the past 50 years did more than 10% of girls have sex by their 14th birthday.” – Lawrence Finer, director of domestic research for the Guttmacher Institute

Although many might assume young teens (or pre-teens) engage in sexual behavior, statics do not back up that thought.

College student sex studies

A college campus, however, is an entirely different story. A 2011 article by USA Today discussed the culture of a university and unique dilemmas student enrollment can create:

… The higher proportion of women on campuses has contributed to the ascent of the hookup culture. Overall, women made up more than 56% of the college population in 2009, according to the recent Census data on enrollments; more women are found on many campuses that serve both sexes.

Not only do college students engage in sexual activity, but “casual hookups” are occurring more and more as the ratio of men-to-women does not even out.

By senior year, 72% of both sexes reported having at least one hookup, with the average of 9.7 for men and 7.1 for women. Just under one-quarter (24%) of seniors say they are virgins, she says.

Despite this growing “hookup culture” where it seems like everyone is having sex while at college, it appears virginity is on the rise – although less than a quarter of college students avoid sex altogether.

  • Among 18- and 19-year-olds, about one-quarter of men and women said they hadn’t had sexual contact with another person, up from 17% of women and 22% of men in 2002.
  • Among those ages 20-24, 12% of women and 13% of men said they were virgins, up from 8% for both sexes in 2002.

Read the full USA Today report on hookups around college campuses

Protecting teens and college students

The statistics show us a few things:

  • Parents, teachers and mentors are doing a great job at making sure young teens do not get sexually involved too soon.
  • The “hookup” culture of college campus is prevalent and an STD breeding ground.
  • Extreme self-control and responsibility shown by the rising virginity rates is hopeful when it comes to the treatment and stop of STDs.

If you are in the Lawrence, KS area and need an STD test for your teen or college student, contact us today. We offer affordable, confidential and fast results.


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KU Student Health Guide

Welcome to Lawrence, KU students! If you’re a freshman, welcome to this great city we call home! If you’re a returning undergraduate or graduate – we’re glad to have you back! We hope everyone had a safe summer and are ready for another year of classes at KU!

lawrence-student-health-phone-numbers

Welcome back students!

To welcome you back, we wanted to give you a handy guide for resources around town when it comes to your health.

Student Health Guide: Phone Numbers for Lawrence, KS

Emergency help | 911

Apartment fire or need medical help that’s NON-EMERGENCY | (785) 843-0250

CrimeStoppers (anonymous tips if you know of a crime) | (785) 864-8888

Need to speak with a nurse at midnight? | (785) 864-9583 (24/7 Student Health Services NurseLine)

Afraid you’re pregnant? | (785) 542-6533 (ARCpoint Labs can run the test; no insurance needed.)

Need a physical? | (785) 864-9500 | (KU Student Health Services)

Need a confidential STD test? | (785) 542-6533 (ARCpoint Labs can run the test; no insurance needed.)

No insurance? No problem.

If you’re a student at KU and are needing several lab tests run, we can do that for you, even if you don’t have insurance. We realize not all students can afford health insurance, yet sometimes you still need medical tests. Our Lawrence location offers students the chance to get a wellness test or drug test without any insurance required. Plus, everything is confidential. Nobody has to see you come in, and you get quick results in no time.

Consider coming to ARCpoint Labs of Lawrence if you:

  • Are worried you might be pregnant.
  • Feel sick and want your blood work run.
  • Are concerned you might have an STD.
  • Are suspicious you’ve been given the “date rape” drug.
  • Need a prenatal DNA test to determine the father of your unborn baby.
  • Get an rH titer test (if you’re pregnant.)
  • Get a drug test (to see if you’ll pass or if you’re getting a new job.)
  • Need a vaccination to travel abroad (or to check to see if you’re still on schedule.)
  • Think you’re allergic to the Midwest air! 

Call us at (785) 542-6533 or walk in for an appointment | 600 Lawrence Ave  Lawrence, KS 66049

Have a great school year everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

 


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How to prevent an STD

Listen up all – this is important news. Students, we especially need your attention.

There are many forms of birth control out there – for both guys and girls. Between over-the-counter products and doctor-prescribed devices and surgeries, options range from:

  • condoms (male & female)
  • diaphragms
  • sponges
  • caps
  • shots
  • pills
  • IUDs
  • patches
  • gels
  • and we know there are probably even more.

However NOT all of these will prevent STDs. In fact, very FEW of these will prevent STDs. Actually – all but ONE of them will prevent STDs.

Birth control & preventing STDS

birth-control-prevents-stds

Don’t assume your birth control methods will prevent STDs.

Out of that LONG list of birth control options, the male latex condom is the only recommended way to prevent an STD. All others will only reduce the chances of becoming pregnant… but not transmitting HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis or any other common STD. Most forms of birth control have to do with regulating the hormones and preventing ovulation, fertilization or insemination. However STD prevention doesn’t exactly work the same way as the reproductive process.

Preventing an STD

So how do you prevent an STD? This might be repeat from sex ed class, but it’s worth mentioning again. Here are some tried and true ways to prevent and STD:

  1. Abstinence. The only 100% way to prevent an STD (or pregnancy for that matter.)
  2. Monogamous relationships. Only sleep with one person. Know FOR SURE that one person does not have an STD.
  3. Condom use. While this isn’t 100% effective, it’s a pretty decent way of preventing the spread of an STD.
  4. Dental dams. This is one method some individuals are using to prevent STDs from oral transmission.
  5. Did we mention abstinence?

Treating an STD

Bottom line – do what you can to prevent an STD. They’re pretty common these days, so don’t be lazy and be on guard. And even if you take the steps to prevent them and still come down with one, there are ways to treat most of them … or at least slow down their transmission rate. Get an STD test to first determine if you have one. You’ll then be able to seek the right treatment on how to treat and prevent. But whatever you do, don’t assume that your birth control pills will prevent you from getting an STD. That couldn’t be further from the truth.