Student Health Services


Sexually Transmitted Infections

STD Screening

What does STD screening mean? Often, people ask to be “checked for everything” when they want to have STD testing. There are over 20 sexually transmitted diseases, and it is not possible to perform tests for all of them, we can however screen for most of them.

The most frequent screenings are for Chlamydia and gonorrhea. Symptoms of Chlamydia and/or gonorrhea in women may include vaginal discharge, pelvic pain, bleeding between periods, and pain during sexual intercourse. Symptoms in men are burning with urination and a drip from the penis. Most women and some men have no symptoms.

Types of STDS

Human papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is perhaps the most common sexually transmitted infection. HPV is spread by skin contact. Condoms reduce, but do not totally prevent the spread of HPV. HPV may cause genital warts, but it is possible to be infected with HPV without having any symptoms. We can visually examine for warts and treat warts in the health center. It is important for women to have yearly pap smears to check for cell changes on the cervix that may be caused by HPV. Yearly gynecological examinations and pap smears can be scheduled in the health center. Additional information about HPV may be found at the CDC web site.
For women: There is a newly available vaccine for HPV.  Please visit the CDC web site for more information about this vaccine.  At this time, the Student Health Center is not able to provide the HPV vaccine. 
For men: The CDC offers information for Men about HPV too.

Genital herpes
Genital herpes is another type of sexually transmitted infection. Herpes is also spread by skin contact during vaginal, anal, and oral sex with someone who has herpes. Condoms help to prevent herpes, but it is possible to contract herpes even when a condom is used because there is still some skin- to-skin contact. In fact, it is possible to become infected with genital herpes without having intercourse or with intercourse when a condom is used. More than one in five Americans are infected with herpes. Most people with herpes have no symptoms and are unaware of their infection. In the Health Center, we can treat the symptoms of herpes and we can prescribe antiviral medication. Antiviral medication does not cure herpes, but it can make the outbreaks heal faster. The Student Health Center does not provide routine testing for herpes for students without symptoms.

Molluscum is a viral infection that can be spread by close contact. However, sexual intercourse is not necessary for transmission. The virus may be spread through close contact such as wrestling or the use of exercise equipment and towels. The lesions are harmless and painless growths seen in the genital area, thighs, buttocks, and abdomen. We can diagnose molluscum by simply looking at the bumps because they have a distinct appearance. The bumps are small and round and contain a white or yellow cheesy substance. If left untreated, molluscum will eventually resolve in months or years. In the Health Center, we treat molluscum with medications to make them go away more quickly. Condoms may help prevent the spread of molluscum, but they are not always effective.

Syphilis is very rare in a student population. It is a chronic systemic infection almost always transmitted by sexual contact. It can also be spread from a mother to her baby. Syphilis is diagnosed by a blood test. Symptoms of the first stage of syphilis show up 3-12 weeks after having sex. Chancre sores usually appear as a single painless ulcer on the genitals. Symptoms of the second stage of syphilis show up about 6-8 weeks after exposure. Symptoms of the second stage of syphilis include a rash or flu-like feelings. We recommend testing if students have symptoms of syphilis.

Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a viral infection of the liver. Hepatitis B is spread during sex with someone who has Hepatitis B, sharing needles to inject drugs or any other reason, or by contact with infected blood or body fluids. Hepatitis B vaccinations have been recommended for adolescents and young adults.

Abstinence is the only way to totally protect against STD's. Condom use and limiting the number or partners you have decreases the risk.

For more information contact the CDC's National STD Hotline at 1-800-227-8922 or visit their web site.