Sexually transmitted infections hit varsity
AT least 15 Chinhoyi University of Technology students have been diagnosed with sexually transmitted infections.
There are fears that this could be a tip of the iceberg as others seek medical help outside the college health system. CUT has an enrolment of 4 000 students and information at hand shows that 15 students, mostly first-year students, have been diagnosed with STIs at the campus clinic since the university opened in March.
Most of the symptoms include a discharge commonly known as drop, but the students were screened to establish the type of STI as that requires referrals to the labora-tory.
The STIs include candida syphillis and gonorrhea. In one incident, a female student allegedly infected two first-year students, prompting one of the male students to spill the beans in front of other students.
CUT director of marketing and public relations Mr Musekiwa Tapera confirmed the outbreak of STI saying the university’s division of student’s affairs was seized with programmes to raise awareness of the dangers of STIs including HIV and Aids and influencing behavioural change.
"First-year students are mostly affected as new students face cultural explosions at universities caused by sudden enjoyment of freedom," said Mr Tapera.
"However, the university is employing intervention strategies such as orientation programmes covering STI, HIV and Aids, rights and issues of scholarship.
"Worryingly, exposure to STIs hightens chances of contracting HIV, which leads to Aids."
Mr Tapera said the university was providing affordable and well-prepared meals to discourage students from seeking recourse to sugar daddies and mummies.
He appealed to students to exercise caution by avoiding premarital and casual sex. Mr Tapera appealed to Chinhoyi, Harare and surrounding communities to desist from using the university as a hunting ground for girlfriends.