UNF Student Health Services does not track STIs

Carter Roush

UNF Student Health Services only jots down results of STI exams on a logbook, a practice that the department doesn’t wish to change.

UNF’s Student Health Services does not keep track of the positive cases of sexually transmitted infections (STI) that the center has tested for.

Once a student is tested for an STI,  the results are handwritten into a logbook. UNF’s Student Health Services chose to use this method instead of compiling a digitized list to make it easier for doctors or nurses to enter the information on a daily basis, said Doreen Perez, director of Student Health Services. This is all they need the information for, said Perez.

Student Health Services has never provided this information in the past because no one has ever requested this information, Perez said. Providing information detailing the number of positive cases of STIs to the public is something other universities in Florida believe is helpful when educating students on health safety.

Dr. Joseph Puccio, director of Student Health Services at the University of South Florida, said keeping track of the number of STIs tested positive in students will help monitor trends and educate students in the future.

Other health professionals at UNF, such as Elissa Barr, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Public Health, believe it is important to actually know the results of the cases that have tested positive. Knowing these results will raise awareness and education among students, Barr said.

“I would advocate for UNF collecting local data and keeping it here at UNF so that we get a good idea of what’s going on here at UNF on campus. I would be in support of UNF [knowing] our actual number of STDs so that we can better help them prevent them in the future,” Barr said.

When asked about Perez’s and Student Health Services’ current practice of not tracking or releasing information on positive STI cases, students said they believe Student Health Services should have access to the statistics.

“I think they should because of disease control and for students to be more careful,” Emily Buffington, health science freshman, said. “I think it’s a very good statistic to know, but it’s very important to keep anonymous,” Corey Skinner, mechanical engineer senior, said.

“They should keep track, so they know [about the trends of STI’s at UNF]. If they tell people and keep it anonymous, then it’s not a big deal,” Morgan Van Alstine, elementary education freshman, said.

Perez said every school has their own priority and that UNF is securing the privacy of students. The practice of not tracking positives is not expected to change.