The University of Limerick has issued an “urgent alert” to its student body via email today regarding an outbreak of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
The email alert, sent out by Dr Ronan Ryder on behalf of the Student Health Centre, warned all students of “an outbreak of gonorrhoea and chlamydia on campus.” The email went on to state that “these are sexually transmitted diseases as a result of unprotected anal, vaginal or oral sex” and that it was possible that students could show no symptoms. Dr Ryder urged all students who have had unprotected sex or “have any concerns” to contact the Student Health Centre or their GP.
In a statement the University of Limerick confirmed that they were consulting the Health Service Executive (HSE) regarding the increase in students presenting to the Student Health Centre with gonorrhoea and chlamydia.
The statement read: “As is best practice, UL has rolled out an awareness campaign contacting every student directly. In accordance with HSE protocols students are being urged to present to the STD and/or the GP clinics run by the UL Student Health Centre should they have concerns with regard to any element of their health and to get the necessary treatment.”
“All students who present are currently being seen with or without an appointment and UL will continue to work closely with the HSE to ensure all awareness and treatment protocols are fully adhered to.”
According to a report in The Irish Independent there have been around ten cases reported on campus and in HSE guidelines, this is considered an outbreak. The latest outbreak of sexually transmitted diseases on campus comes after a 2012 survey of UL students revealed that more than 40% believed STDs did not pose long-term health effects and 60% were reluctant to attend a college health clinic about it. Of the 419 students surveyed in 2012, 86% had engaged in oral sex without condoms, 69% had vaginal sex without condoms and 19% have had anal sex without condoms.