Sexually transmitted diseases are a cause for concern at PCC and Coordinator of Health Services Jo Buczko hopes to prevent further spread of diseases.Buczko hopes that students will become aware of the vaccinations and treatments that the Student Health Center offers.
Of the vaccines, Hepatitis B is on the top of the list of vaccines students should get if they have not already received it elsewhere.
“[We are] really concentrating on Hepatitis B as it is easily passed sexually,” said Buczko.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver that cannot be cured, but can be prevented if vaccinated. The disease is found in the blood and in other body fluid, which allows for easy transmission through sexual contact.
At PCC the vaccination is available free for students who are at high risk for the disease and at a low cost for others who require the vaccination.
According to Buczko, high risk students are Asian Pacific Islanders, but also those from a country with greater than 2 percent of outbreak. Others are drug users, men who have sex with men, those who have had many partners and those who have been in a correctional facility.
Other vaccines available include, but are not limited to, Hepatitis A and Human Papillomavirus (HPV).
Buczko says that gonorrhea, chlamydia, HPV and Hepatitis B are the most prevalent STDs in college- age people.
A urine test for gonorrhea and chlamydia is offered for $26 and, if warranted, treatment is free.
Buczko says that chlamydia is currently the most prevalent bacterial STD at all community colleges. It is predominantly seen in 15 to 19-year-olds.
In 2008 it was reported that 7.3 percent of men and 4.3 percent of women at PCC tested positive for chlamydia.
“We expect students in college to be between 4 and 5 percent,” said Buczko. “Out of our percentage of testing, we are where we expect to be for women, but men are higher than the norm.”
Men have higher rates as they tend to have more partners than women, according to questionnaires that students have filled out.
PCC’s reports are an insight into the current outbreak of chlamydia in California.
“California is in an outbreak and the Pasadena Health Department has the highest in the county,” said Jessica Igoe, biology professor.
Igoe teaches Biology 19, which informs students about STDs.
“Gonorrhea is less of a problem, but we are seeing an upswing,” said Buczko.
According to Buczko, this comes after two positive results in the past couple weeks when there had been only one in the past year.
“I encourage students to take advantage of the services on campus,” said Buczko.