Online Courses Slow Campus Spread of STDs

“I wish I had started using Khan Academy earlier. I would have saved thousands of dollars on tuition….and many hundreds on Valtrex.”

STD rates are falling on college campus, and the source of the reduction is unexpected.  The driver of this trend is not condoms,  chastity pledges, or even the Freshman 15.  So what gets the credit? Online learning.

That’s the conclusion of a report released today by the U.S. Association of Campus Health Officials (USACHO).  “The decline in student interaction and the number of casual sex partners has resulted in corresponding reduction in STD transmission.” reads part of the report’s executive summary.

“These rates are the lowest since 1992 when Bush lost the election and College Republicans lost face on campuses across the nation.” reported Dr. Shailesh Rogovundrun, Chairperson of the USACHO.

“The year Bill Clinton came to office was the year ‘kids started fucking again.'” said Dr. Rogovundrun. “And they kept fucking through the ’00s until about a year ago.”

Indeed the popularity of online classes is changing the face of the modern college campus, and the primary effects are numerous – reduced need for textbooks, parking spaces and cafeteria facilities. This new benefit is perhaps less predictable but also quite logical.

As students come together less, they just aren’t swapping fluids and venereal diseases the way they used to.  This fact is borne out by another of the study’s conclusions – the campuses with the lowest rates of STDs are the ones with the highest percentage of online students.

“It’s really quite simple, ” says Susan O’Connor, head of student health services at University of Phoenix, where many students exclusively take online courses. “It’s practically impossible to get an STD at UofP.”

“If you are a Phoenix, you’ve really got to go out of your way to catch herpes from another Phoenix.  Like, you’ve got to be trying to get herpes.”

This report has only just come out, but it could mean a big boost to interest in online colleges or alternative learning.

Teresa Fairburn, a recent drop-out from the University of South Carolina is now home-schooling herself with Khan Academy, an online curriculum founded by former investment banker Salman Khan. “This is a much better fit for me. I can take classes on my own schedule, and the quality of instruction is very good.”

“I wish I had started using Khan Academy earlier. I would have saved thousands of dollars on tuition….and many hundreds on Valtrex.” she added with a frown, referring to the GSK-produced drug and the #1 treatment for genital herpes.

The report’s conclusion has an impact on those in the business of treating STDs.

GSK is trying to kickstart socializing among collegiates. “The proliferation of online courses affects this next generation’s ability to socialize in an adult setting.” says Richard Mapleton, the drug maker’s Head of Market Development.  “That’s why we’re sponsoring student mixers across the country  – to give students the chance to get together, dance and swap, you know, ideas. It’s really about facilitating community.”

Mapleton reacted defensively when asked if the events (which are held at popular college town bars and include free jello shots for the ladies) were intended to get students to have unprotected sex. “The jello shots we provide at the door are really just a way to say ‘welcome to our party.’  Besides, jello is good for you.  It’s, you know, jello.”

“Besides, a good STD scare is all part of ‘the college thing.’ We don’t want technology depriving young people from the ‘Come-to-Jesus, Staring-into-the-brink’ feeling one gets the first time it stings when they pee.  I mean, can you imagine if no one got crabs any more?  It’s like, the only stories you could tell your kids about Spring Break is how Mom took her shirt off for Joe Francis.”

WeeklyPaul spoke to Salman Khan over Skype and asked him if he thought the lower transmission rates among online students was sustainable.  He replied by drawing us a diagram showing how STD’s spread.

“I’ll represent the man’s penis by drawing this triangle…and this circle here represents a woman’s vagina…” said Mr. Khan.

At this point, the author broke into fits of uncontrollable giggling, and Mr. Khan ended the call.

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