For incoming and returning California State University, Bakersfield students the college sexual experience can carry risks ranging from pregnancy to sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people ages 15 to 24 account for more than 10 million STI cases every year in the United States.
However, not only are college students at risk, those in the Bakersfield area are at an even higher risk. Patsy Montgomery, associate vice president of campaigns of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte, said, “According to the most recent statistics from the California Department of Public Health, STD Control Branch, Kern County has the highest rate of chlamydia in the state. Chlamydia is the leading cause of preventable infertility in men and women. Kern also has the fourth highest rate of gonorrhea and ranks third in teen births, which are births to 15 to 19 year olds.”
STIs and pregnancy are preventable, however, and for those on CSUB’s main campus the Student Health Center can provide students with pap smears, pregnancy testing, STD testing, treatment, one-on-one medical counseling and contraceptives such as condoms and birth control pills. While the Student Health Center can not perform surgeries on site, it can refer students to other clinics in the area for the insertions of devices such as the IUD.
These services are available for most students through California’s Family PACT program. According to Erika Delamar, the CSUB health promotion and accreditation coordinator, “most students qualify for Family PACT, the state of California program for free reproductive healthcare.”
Students can apply for Family PACT in the Student Health Center or find more ways to apply on Family Pact’s website.
“If the student does not qualify, there is a charge. But very few students don’t qualify,” said Delamar.
Delamar added, “CSUB offers community outreach about sexual responsibility as well as contraception.”
For those students who are infected with an STI, CSUB clinicians will be able to diagnose and prescribe treatment which can be picked up at the CSUB pharmacy.