Monthly Archives: April 2022

As STDs Surge, Quest Diagnostics Debunks Common Myths; Highlights Importance of STD Testing

New CDC data shows that people avoided STD testing during the pandemic –

People aged 15-24 years make up half of all STD cases

If you think the quarantines that kept people from dating and sex mean you’re less likely to catch an STD, think again. The pandemic may have caused a dip in sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in the US very early on, but new data reveals that the decline was short lived. A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that cases of STDs decreased during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic but increased by the end of 2020. And people between the ages of 15-24 made up more than half (53%) of all reported cases of STDs.

Rates of syphilis and gonorrhea, two common STDs, climbed. And while the report showed declines in chlamydia, another common STD, experts are quick to point out that it is likely due to a decrease in screening, rather than a drop in actual cases.

Quest Diagnostics, the world’s leading provider of diagnostic information services, is breaking down common myths about STDs and sharing simple steps to take to protect your sexual health. Just remember S.T.D.:

• Start by getting back to care
• Test to know if you have an STD
• Do get treatment to protect your health and others

“Too many young people are at a high risk of STDs, but they may not know it or understand how important it is to be tested and treated, even when they lack symptoms. Reluctance to discuss risk with a healthcare provider is a common barrier, but the pandemic has added another layer of complication,” said Damian “Pat” Alagia, III, MD, an OB/GYN and medical director of women’s health for Quest Diagnostics. “The good news is that there are services available for individuals, including college students, that provide direct access to STD testing without the need to visit a doctor’s office first, so they can get the screening and treatment they need if they put off care during the pandemic, have personal privacy concerns, or are uncomfortable discussing their sexual history with a healthcare provider face to face.”

Myth #1: No symptoms means no STD.

STDs are often silent and without symptoms. In fact, up to 50% of men and 90% of women with chlamydia don’t show symptoms, and about 80% of women with gonorrhea have no symptoms.[1][2][3] The only way to know for sure if you have an STD is to get tested.

Myth #2: I would know if my partner had an STD.

This goes along with myth #1. You usually can’t see that someone has an STD – even a doctor can’t tell by looking at people. And it’s possible your partner may have an STD and not know it. Reminder: people don’t always have symptoms.

Myth #3: STDs don’t have serious health effects.

While college students may be more focused on pregnancy prevention than starting families, understanding the potential for long term health effects is important. If left unchecked, STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea – which are curable with treatment – can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease in women and cause infertility in all people.

Myth #4: If my doctor thought I had an STD, he or she would have tested me for it.

Not necessarily. Some younger people are uncomfortable or embarrassed to have a frank conversation about their sexual behavior with their doctors, are not honest about their sexual history, and may not understand their STD risk. On the flip side, past research by Quest Diagnostics found gaps in care among doctors, with annual screening guidelines sometimes overlooked, especially if someone doesn’t have symptoms.

Myth #5: My partner and I are exclusive, so I don’t need to be tested.

In fact, if you and your partner have each had sex before, you are both at risk unless you both got tested before you became intimate. According to the CDC, all sexually active women under the age of 25 should be screened once a year for chlamydia and gonorrhea, regardless of the number of sex partners, and all sexually active men who have sex with men should be tested at least once a year for syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

Myth #6: Getting tested is a hassle—and embarrassing.

Screening for STDs does not have to be daunting or embarrassing. Consumer-initiated testing services like QuestDirect from Quest Diagnostics allow people to purchase a test discreetly online, including tests for some of the most common STDs like chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. You can choose to share results with your doctor or talk with an independent physician about your results to come up with a plan that supports your health, including prescription treatment if appropriate. Other options include making an appointment with a primary care doctor or, for females, an OB/GYN, and many colleges have health clinics that may offer STD testing. The CDC also offers resources to find a testing site near you at

The thought of having an STD can be scary, but most are curable and catching them early is the best way to protect yourself and others. Knowledge is power. Just remember these simple steps: S.T.D.

Start by getting back to care. A majority of people put off preventive care during the pandemic.
Test to know if you have an STD. Remember, if sexually active, the only true way to know whether you have an STD is to get tested.
Do get treatment to protect your health and others. Even without symptoms, you can carry and spread an STD, and seeking testing and treatment is not something you need to be intimidated about.

About Our Commitment to Consumer Empowered Health

Quest Diagnostics has long been at the forefront of the movement for consumer empowerment in healthcare. Our QuestDirect™ consumer-initiated testing platform provides dozens of tests for conditions ranging from heart health to sexually transmitted diseases. We were among the first diagnostic information services providers to offer access to test results online and through other channels.

About Quest Diagnostics

Quest Diagnostics empowers people to take action to improve health outcomes. Derived from the world’s largest database of clinical lab results, our diagnostic insights reveal new avenues to identify and treat disease, inspire healthy behaviors, and improve health care management. Quest Diagnostics annually serves one in three adult Americans and half the physicians and hospitals in the United States, and our nearly 50,000 employees understand that, in the right hands and with the right context, our diagnostic insights can inspire actions that transform lives.

Media Contact

Jillian Flanagan


[1] Farley TA, Cohen DA, Elkins W. Asymptomatic sexually transmitted diseases: the case for screening. Preventive medicine 2003;36:502.

[2] Korenromp EL, Sudaryo MK, de Vlas SJ, et al. What proportion of episodes of gonorrhea and chlamydia becomes symptomatic? International journal of STD & AIDS 2002;13:91-101.

[3] Hook EW, III, Handsfield HH. Gonococcal infections in the adult. In: Holmes KK, Sparling PF, Stamm WE, et al., editors. Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 4th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill; 2008. (Gonorrhea infection in women: prevalence, effects, screening, and management (

Students Demanded Short-Term International Trips, WorldStrides Delivered

New quick itineraries to destinations such as Spain, Morocco, England and Thailand are designed to provide students international experience and maximize time on campus after two years in a pandemic

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 12, 2022WorldStrides, the leader in educational travel experiences, has created a brand new set of condensed itineraries for students to experience Europe, Asia and other popular destinations. Break Escapes trips are 7-10 day adventures led by local tour guides and are reinventing the overseas study abroad experience, providing insider access to the worlds’ top destinations.

“We designed BreakEscapes to occur during winter, summer, and spring breaks to cater to students who want an international experience and still want to have time for a full semester on campus or an internship during their scheduled breaks from school,” said Brian DeMoss, head of higher education marketing at WorldStrides. WorldStrides listened to feedback from their student travelers who have missed out on so much the last two years, both studying abroad and through on-campus living, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Destinations for Break Escapes include: Spain (Madrid & Barcelona), England (London), Costa Rica (San Jose & Tortuga Island), Fiji (Naviti & Beachcomber), Australia (Sydney & Cairns), Morocco (Fez & Merzouga), France (Paris), and Thailand (Chiang Mai & Krabi).

​​Break Escapes is different from other study abroad experiences – each trip is led by a local guide, familiar with each destination inside and out. Students will also stay in three- or four-star hotels rather than a hostel. Students can refer their friends, classmates and peers on campus for a reduced rate, and can even request the same roommate(s) for the duration of their trip. The fee for each seven-day, six-night adventure varies by location, but each includes premium hotel accommodations each night, most meals, exclusive cultural excursions led by local guides, and so much more. Students are responsible for their own roundtrip airfare. The deadline to apply is Sunday, May 1, 2022.

Students can learn more about BreakEscapes and begin planning their adventure here.

About WorldStrides
WorldStrides is the global leader in educational travel and experiential learning. The company was founded in 1967 to provide middle school travel programs to Washington, D.C., and has grown to provide a wide range of programs for more than 550,000 students annually from more than 5,000 K12 schools and universities to over 100 countries around the world. WorldStrides offers experiential learning programs in educational travel, performing arts, language immersion, career exploration, service-learning, study abroad, and sports. Each of these experiences helps students to see beyond the classroom and to see the world – and themselves – in new ways.

Chris Tygar
KWT Global for WorldStrides / (973) 229-0571

CrowdStrike Accepting NextGen Scholarship Applications For 2022-23 Academic Year

Annual scholarship program is open to students pursuing a cybersecurity or AI education

AUSTIN, Texas. (April 12, 2022) – CrowdStrike (Nasdaq: CRWD), a leader in cloud-delivered protection of endpoints, cloud workloads, identity and data, today announced the application period for its 2022-23 NextGen Scholarship Program is now open for submissions. This year, up to eight (8) scholarships of $10,000 will be awarded to select undergraduate and graduate students studying cybersecurity or artificial intelligence (AI). NextGen Scholarship applicants will also be included in the candidate pool for CrowdStrike internships, giving aspiring students both greater access to world-class education and marketable, real-world experience in one of today’s most critical and fastest growing industries.

CrowdStrike established the scholarship program in 2017 to nurture and develop the next generation of talent and research in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence (AI). To date, CrowdStrike has awarded more than $165,000 in scholarships to 24 of the top students in the U.S. and Canada.

Applicants for the 2022-23 academic year must be current undergraduates, graduate students or high school seniors who will be enrolled full-time at a college/university in the United States or Canada in the fall of 2022, majoring in cybersecurity or AI and achieving a minimum 3.30 GPA. Recipients will be evaluated based on academic achievement, essay content, expressed career interest and work/internship/volunteer experience in cybersecurity, AI or related fields.

“Cybersecurity is a field becoming more and more important every year, especially as our lives become increasingly digital. In the news, I constantly hear about data breaches, ransomware attacks, and numerous other cybersecurity threats,” said Aneesh Boreda, a 2021-22 NextGen Scholarship award recipient who is studying computer and information sciences at the University of Pennsylvania. “By pursuing a career in utilizing artificial intelligence to build powerful security tools to prevent these threats, I can help develop the next generation of algorithms used in the arms race between cyberattackers and security companies.”

How to apply

The scholarship program is administered by International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc. (ISTS), an independent company that specializes in managing sponsored educational assistance programs. ISTS hosts the online application process, responds to applicant inquiries and performs preliminary ranking for the selection process. For more information about the program and to begin the application process, visit here. The deadline to apply is June 2, 2022.

Past award winners

The recipients of the NextGen Scholarships for the previous academic year 2021-2022 were:

• Kehinde Ayano, graduate student at Purdue University
• Aneesh Boreda, undergraduate student at University of Pennsylvania
• Zachary Espiritu, undergraduate student at Brown University
• Wesley Muthemba, graduate student at University of Washington
• Ly Na Nguyen, undergraduate student at Columbia University
• Arianne Ghislaine Rull, undergraduate student at York University
• Sara Takhim, undergraduate student at Northeastern University
• Samuel Watson, undergraduate student at University of Alabama


About CrowdStrike

CrowdStrike (Nasdaq: CRWD), a global cybersecurity leader, has redefined modern security with one of the world’s most advanced cloud-native platforms for protecting critical areas of enterprise risk – endpoints and cloud workloads, identity and data.

Powered by the CrowdStrike Security Cloud and world-class AI, the CrowdStrike Falcon® platform leverages real-time indicators of attack, threat intelligence, evolving adversary tradecraft and enriched telemetry from across the enterprise to deliver hyper-accurate detections, automated protection and remediation, elite threat hunting and prioritized observability of vulnerabilities.

Purpose-built in the cloud with a single lightweight-agent architecture, the Falcon platform delivers rapid and scalable deployment, superior protection and performance, reduced complexity and immediate time-to-value.

CrowdStrike: We stop breaches.

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© 2022 CrowdStrike, Inc. All rights reserved. CrowdStrike, the falcon logo, CrowdStrike Falcon and CrowdStrike Threat Graph are marks owned by CrowdStrike, Inc. and registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and in other countries. CrowdStrike owns other trademarks and service marks, and may use the brands of third parties to identify their products and services.

Kevin Benacci
CrowdStrike Corporate Communications

Smile Train Announces College Scholarship Program

NEW YORK – April 11, 2022 – Smile Train, the world’s largest cleft-focused organization, is pleased to announce a new college scholarship available for cleft-affected American high school students entering college. Two scholarship recipients will be selected by a Smile Train appointed College Scholarship Committee by sharing how their cleft is their superpower and demonstrating an inspiring vision for their academic future. The funds received can be used toward tuition, fees, course-related expenses, and room and board.

The scholarship was established to continue to celebrate Smile Train’s vision of fostering a truly global #CleftProud community and helping cleft-affected seniors each year receive access to quality higher education to pursue their academic desires. The application process invites students born with a cleft lip and/or palate, between the ages of 14 and 19, to share in an essay their academic achievements and extracurriculars, along with the leadership skills and lessons they garnered from being cleft-affected. Recipients are responsible for notifying their institution’s financial aid office of the scholarship award through appropriate forms, and are required to provide Smile Train with the details of sending the scholarship to their school.

Applications must be submitted online by the deadline of May 13, 2022. Scholarship Recipients will be notified through email by June 6, 2022. Students can learn more and apply online at

About Smile Train

Smile Train empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. We advance a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive. To learn more about Smile Train’s sustainable approach, please visit

Media Contacts

Nijha Diggs
Smile Train


Short-Term Study Abroad Experiences Available at Oxford’s Oriel College

The program offers three-week classes for students to earn college credit

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 6, 2022 – WorldStrides, the leader in educational travel and experiences, has partnered with Oxford’s Oriel College to offer university students from around the world an exciting educational experience at their historic campus in Oxford, England.

Designed to provide students a condensed study abroad experience, the Summer Institute will offer students three two-week sessions to choose from, and it allows them the flexibility to select the duration and courses that best meet their goals and time constraints.

“The program is built to give students back the time they have lost on campus the past two years during the pandemic and still offer a high-caliber study abroad experience at a world-class institution,” said Brian DeMoss, head of higher education marketing at WorldStrides. “We want to provide students with options to travel this summer and these courses are fun, intense two-week courses to gain credits while enjoying the summer in Oxford and nearby London.”

The programs are two weeks in length, and students will earn three credits per two-week session. Students will live in the Oriel College at Oxford dorms while being immersed in the culture of the historical city of Oxford, which is just an hour outside of London. The curriculum includes diverse course offerings such as artificial intelligence, modern philosophy, entrepreneurship in the 21st century, Shakespeare and shifting economic policies. The deadline to apply is April 20, 2022.

About WorldStrides
WorldStrides is the global leader in educational travel and experiential learning. The company was founded in 1967 to provide middle school travel programs to Washington, D.C., and has grown to provide a wide range of programs for more than 550,000 students annually from more than 5,000 K12 schools and universities to over 100 countries around the world. WorldStrides offers experiential learning programs in educational travel, performing arts, language immersion, career exploration, service-learning, study abroad, and sports. Each of these experiences helps students to see beyond the classroom and to see the world – and themselves – in new ways.

About Oriel College
Oriel College is the fifth oldest of the University of Oxford’s constituent colleges, founded in 1326. Situated in the heart of Oxford, Oriel is home to around 330 undergraduate and 250 postgraduate students, as well as over 100 members of academic staff. The majority of Oriel’s buildings date from the 17th century onwards and include the Chapel, Pantin Library, Senior Library, and Hall. The College prides itself on being a welcoming academic community, home to world-class teaching, learning and research.

Chris Tygar
KWT Global for WorldStrides / (973) 229-0571