In addition to shopping for back-to-school supplies and mulling over course selections, college-bound students should also make time for an “off-to-college” health check-up before the start of the academic year. During such appointments, Sophia Yen, MD, MPH, and her colleagues at the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Teen and Young Adult Clinic, recommend students talk to their health-care providers about ways to stay healthy and safe while fully enjoying their college experience.
Yen suggested students ask their doctors about several topics, including specific vaccinations, in a recent press release.
“We urge all college students to get vaccinated against these diseases: tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap); meningitis; and human papillomavirus (HPV), which is the No. 1 sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States. Even if a college student has only two sexual partners in his or her lifetime, they have a 70 percent or higher chance of contracting one of the four HPV strains if they haven’t received the vaccine,” says Yen, who is also a clinical assistant professor of pediatrics at the Stanford School of Medicine.
“In addition, all sexually experienced individuals under the age of 26 should get tested for chlamydia every year,” adds Yen, noting that 80 percent of people who have chlamydia – a sexually transmitted infection – don’t know that they have it and do not have symptoms.
Previously: Task force recommends HIV screening for all people aged 15 to 65, HPV-associated cancers are rising, HPV vaccination rates still too low, new national report, The costs of college binge drinking and Study estimates hospitalizations for underage drinking cost $755 million per year
Photo by L.A. Cicero/Stanford News Service