Campus campaign targets sexually transmitted diseases

FRESNO, Calif.

On Monday, students and staff at Fresno State joined together to raise awareness of the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases.

The campaign, called Test Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself, promotes getting tested.

Elissa Gill said she learned about the dangers of STDs after a friend became infected.

"My best friend was diagnosed with stage-three cervical cancer from HPV," she said.

Health experts were on hand providing free HIV tests.

Fresno State professor of public health Greg Thatcher says college campuses can do a better job of educating students.

"A lot of times on college campuses students aren't even aware that they have testing services available to them," Thatcher said.

The Fresno County Health Department says it's seeing a spike in certain STDs.

"In 2010 we had about 6000 Chlamydia cases and we had about 800 Gonorrhea cases. We are up about 10 percent total since 2009," Stephanie Garcia of the Department of Public Health said. "We are seeing close to three or four, or sometimes five, new HIV cases per month."

Students at Fresno State are hoping to put a dent in those numbers, but they say the challenge is encouraging more people to put their fears aside, step forward and get tested.

More than two dozen people were tested at Monday's mobile clinic.

Students and staff members say they plan on holding similar events every semester.

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