STI screening, and communication with your partners about your STI status, is another important part of a healthy sex life. Screening is recommended in between each new sexual partner, or once a year if in a monogamous partnership. You can use barrier methods like condoms and dental dams to prevent against STI transmission.
Certain STIs can be asymptomatic, so the only way to know your STI status for sure is to get screened. However, common symptoms include abnormal discharge, painful intercourse, painful urination, and swelling, redness, or sores around the genitals. Should you notice anything unusual or painful, go see a doctor and get screened!
Getting screened for a full range of STIs is simple--depending on which STIs you need to be tested for, you will give a urine and/or blood sample and receive your results after a lab test.
Testing resources and more info
- Student Health Service: The Student Health Service offers confidential STI testing for students, and is also able to provide treatment if you have an infection. Get your results within three days.
- Planned Parenthood: Detailed descriptions of STIs, their symptoms, their means of transmission, and the ways you can prevent transmission. Should you choose to get tested outside of the university, it will provide you with contact information for the nearest Planned Parenthood establishment.
- HIV prevention: Information about preventing new HIV infections, including PrEP and PEP, medications that can reduce your risk of HIV transmission before and after potential exposure. PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) can be used in addition to practicing safer sex. PrEP is a once-daily pill that reduces your risk of contracting HIV. You can get a prescription for PrEP at Student Health--call and ask for specifically for a PrEP appointment. PrEP prescriptions, and more information about the medication, is also available at Howard Brown.