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American University contributes to research on link between eviction and STDs

*This story was originally published Feb. 14, 2019 for an in-class assignment

WASHINGTON – A new study published in the scientific journal Sexually Transmitted Diseases found evidence of a link between eviction rates and a higher likelihood of STD contraction. 

The study collected data on rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea in counties across the United States. Controlling for factors such as poverty and environment, both of which can affect rates of STDs, the study concluded that areas where more evictions occur also see a higher rate of sexually transmitted diseases.

American University sociology professor Kim Blankenship coauthored the study with Dr. Linda Niccolai and Danya Keene of the Yale University’s School of Public Health. 

“That study was inspired by a big project that I have called the ‘Justice, Housing and Health study,’” said Blankenship.

The study, published in 2018, was a joint effort between scholars at Yale University, Drexel University, and American University that covers an array of subjects linking public health effects with community policies. 

Guadalupe Mabry, a junior studying public health at American, said that a major benefit of going to school in Washington is the opportunity for community-based research in a diverse urban environment.

“I think that it’s really interesting to just hear from other students about what AU’s connecting them to off-campus,” said Mabry. “D.C. is a place where you get can experience interning in clinics, as well as, like, the policy aspect of public health.”

Katie Marx, a student in the Three Year Scholar program for public health at American, said the science department is still developing “to be competitive with the big science schools.” However, Marx explained that she is happy to study public health at American. 

“This is a good place to be to have that balance of policy and the science part of public health,” said Marx.

Hailing from Waldoboro, Maine, Braeden Waddell is a junior at American University studying Journalism and Latin American area studies. Waddell is an avid podcast listener, an aspirational chef, and a two-wheeled transportation enthusiast currently suffering a minor setback. His long-term career goal is to work as an investigative reporter for a podcast similar to Post Reports, Reveal, or In The Dark. His choice to attend American University was inspired by desperate need to leave his 5,000-person town in rural Maine and enjoy the benefits of modernity he lacked at home, such as a cable internet and being able to go to a grocery store without seeing upwards of five people from his high school. Fun fact: Waddell only learned to ride a bike 3 weeks ago. Fun fact 2: While Waddell loves to cook, he is less knowledgeable with the art of baking. He can only bake one thing: Banana Bread. But, it’s damn good banana bread.

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