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Which university is the best for dealing with STDs (and which is the worst?)

8th April 2014

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However much you might want to push it to the back of your mind, sexually transmitted diseases are a problem at university.

We don’t want to overburden you with (frankly terrifying) statistics, but here are some very quick ones: Chlamydia is the most common infection in those under 25, 50% of men and 70% of infected women have no symptoms – and almost three quarters of new diagnoses are in those aged 16-24.   

Since students seem to be the target market for this silent and symptom-less disease, it’s probably quite important that universities provide good sexual health services – for those that are suffering for Chlamydia and other infections, as well as for those who might have suffered sexual assault or abuse.

Now, Superdrug has released its Sexual Health Report Card – letting students know which universities are taking sexual health seriously, and which could do with, erm, a check-up.  

So, which universities are providing the right services for their students – and which are in for a nasty shock?

It’s Bristol that tops the list as the UK university with the best sexual health services, according to the report, and it’s followed by Nottingham, St Georges, University of London, Dundee and Leeds.

Bristol was praised for its “forward-thinking delivery methods, setting up dedicated social media profiles to deliver a range of accessible information to help its students make informed choices about their own sexual health needs.”

Also high in the table are Cambridge, Loughborough, Edinburgh, Kings College London and University College London (UCL.)    

Languishing at the bottom are Cardiff, East Anglia, Reading, City University and Birmingham.

The research covered nine key service areas, including the availability of STI testing on campus and sexual assault counselling services.

It’s the first time Superdrug (and its Online Doctor service) have included sexual health provision at universities in their report.

The top ten in full is:

1          University of Bristol              

2          University of Nottingham        

=          St. Georges, University of London    

4          University of Dundee            

5          University of Leeds   

6          University of Cambridge                     

=          Loughborough University        

8          University of Edinburgh                      

=          Kings College London

10        University College London

And the worst universities for sexual health services? Here is the bottom ten, named and shamed...

41        University of Southampton   

=          University of St. Andrews        

=          Queen Mary's University London       

=          University of Surrey  

46        Swansea University               

47        University of Birmingham       

48        City University London          

=          University of Reading                       

49        University of East Anglia                   

50        Cardiff University

The report says that, for those at the bottom of the table, “there is still significant room for improvement.”

Worryingly, services specifically relating to sexual assault were deemed ‘particularly poor’ by researchers, with just two universities, St. George’s, University of London (3rd) and Newcastle University (21st) having separate information about sexual assault via a dedicated website and telephone, or face-to-face counselling.

Simon Lea, business development manager for Superdrug Online Doctor, said: “It’s great to see the universities of Bristol, Nottingham and St. Georges, University of London top our list and share our ambition to provide the best sexual health services for their communities. 

“This comprehensive Report Card shows that for students specifically, many of whom will be in the ‘most at risk’  group for contracting STIs, access to relevant, up-to-date information can be hit or miss.”

The National Student is dedicated to promoting safe sex. Click here to get a free Chlamydia test, delivered discreetly and quickly, which you can carry out yourself before posting back.






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