Sexual Health

What is GYT?

The GYT campaign encourages STD testing as an act of pride, not shame, and promotes a dialogue about STDs.  The CSU Health Network encourages students to “Get Yourself  Tested” by providing a discounted rate of $20 (over 50% off the regular rate) on select STD tests, specifically those for gonorrhea and chlamydia.

Who is eligible?

Any full-time health fee-paying student is eligible to participate in the GYT campaign.

Approximately 19 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year in the United States- and almost half of these are among young people ages 15 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), so it’s important to Get Yourself Tested.

When can I go?

Discounted testing is available from Monday, March 20 through Friday, April 14.  You can simply walk in to Hartshorn Health Center any time during the testing dates.  Do not urinate at least two hours prior to testing.

Where do I go?

Testing is available at the Hartshorn Health Center.  Check in at the main reception desk.  Test results will be sent via a secure email message to your personal health portal.

Why is this important?

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) pose a serious public health threat to Americans- particularly young women, African Americans, men who have sex with men (MSM), and individuals living in poverty or who have limited access to healthcare.  STDs cost the United States’ health care system as much as $17 billion annually.

STDs such as chlamydia and gonorrhea are major causes of infertility among women.  These and other STDs can increase the risk of HIV transmission for both women and men.

The CSU Health Network provides information and support to students, allowing them to be sexually healthy adults. High-risk sexual behavior can have many consequences including unintended pregnancy, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Please note: Individuals manifest certain STIs differently. Because of this, we may refer to the terms “male” or “female” occasionally, meaning your birth sex. If we use these terms, it is only to be sure that we look at your health comprehensively. We understand that your gender identity may differ from your birth sex.

Assessments

STD Wizard

Take this brief five-minute quiz to determine your overall STI risk at STD Wizard.

Sexual Health Information

The Center for Disease Control offers accurate and up-to-date information on STI signs, symptoms, transmission, treatment, prevention, and more.

Make Sex Safer

  • Abstinence is the only way to nearly eliminate your risk of contracting an STI. If you do choose to have sex, you can lower your risk by forming a monogamous relationship in which you and your partner agree to be faithful, sexually. Avoid sexual contact with this partner until you have each been tested and are reasonably sure you are both free of STIs.
  • Condoms, when used correctly and consistently, are highly effective in preventing pregnancy and most STIs. However, if the STI is on the skin, outside the area covered by a condom, it can still be passed between partners. Use condoms made of latex or polyurethane. While condoms don’t provide protection 100 percent of the time, they are the best protection available against STIs. Condoms are also 85% effective in preventing pregnancy.
  • Get Tested for STIs as part of your regular medical check-up, especially if you have changed partners or have more than one partner. Remember, a large percentage of people who have STIs have no symptoms.
  • Learn the common symptoms of STIs and seek medical help promptly if any suspicions arise. Some common symptoms could include (but are not limited to): pain with urination or frequent urination, pain in the genital area or lower abdomen, unusual vaginal, urethral, or anal discharge, new sores or bumps, or bleeding or pain with intercourse. Many STIs have no symptoms.
  • Do not use drugs or alcohol in potentially intimate situations.

Contraception

Contraception

Different types of contraception work in a variety of ways to prevent pregnancy. Some affect the hormones in your body, such as “the pill” or some intrauterine devices. Other forms, like condoms and diaphragms act as barrier methods to prevent sperm from fertilizing an egg.

Deciding which method of contraception to use isn’t always easy, but the best approach is to educate yourself about the different options. Ultimately, the choice is yours, based on what works best for you. Abstinence from all sexual activity is the only 100 percent effective form of birth control and (most) STI prevention.

Your healthcare provider can explain each type of contraception and assist you in making your decision. Some important questions you may want to ask include:

  • What are the health risks associated with this method?
  • What are the potential side effects?
  • How well does this method prevent pregnancy?
  • How much does this method cost?
  • Will using this form of contraception have any effect on my, or my partner’s, future ability to get pregnant?
  • Will using this method help my partner/me reduce the chance of transmitting an STI?
  • Will this method interrupt intercourse? If so, will we use this consistently?
  • Do I need my partner’s cooperation to use this form of birth control?
  • Will I enjoy intercourse less because of this method?
  • Will using this method be embarrassing or upsetting to me or my partner?

Condoms

Condoms are among the most easily available and reliable forms of protection against unplanned pregnancy and most STIs.

Free condoms are available on campus and are located at various locations, including:

  • Hartshorn Health Service building

Visit the American Social Health Association Website for detailed instructions on how to use a condom.

Emergency Contraception

If your condom was compromised or not used, visit the National Women’s Health Information Center Website for the most up to date information regarding Emergency Contraception.

Common STI Questions

Who should be tested?

  • Generally, anyone who has had sexual contact with another person, regardless of the partner’s gender should be tested for STIs.
  • Sexual contact includes genital skin-to-skin contact, intimate body fluid contact, and/or genital, anal, or oral contact.
  • Remember that many STIs cause no symptoms, so feeling fine does not mean you are free from STIs. Consistent condom use can decrease the chance of acquiring an STI, but cannot protect completely against all STIs.

How would I know if my partner has an STI?

  • You may not know if your partner is infected. Many infections cause no symptoms (your partner(s) may not know that they have an infection either).
  • Some common symptoms could include (but are not limited to): pain with urination or frequent urination, pain in the genital area or lower abdomen, unusual vaginal, urethral, or anal discharge, new sores or bumps, or bleeding or pain with intercourse.

What kinds of tests are available from the CSU Health Network?

  • At the CSU Health Network, you can be tested for:
    • Chlamydia
    • Gonorrhea
    • Herpes
    • Syphilis
    • HIV
    • HPV
    • Hepatitis A, B, and C
    • Many other, less common tests can also be arranged

How long will it take to get the test results from the CSU Health Network?

  • Some STIs are diagnosed through tests that are sent to an outside lab. Receiving those results may take up to 14 days, depending on the test.
  • Test results are sent to you by secure messaging and/or telephone.

What will it cost to be tested?

Is there a way to be tested for all STIs?

  • The short answer is “no,” usually not at one visit.
  • STIs reveal themselves in different ways and at different times. Some are diagnosed visually, and may not appear for many months.
  • The most reliable STI testing will be possible when a person is educated about STIs, acknowledges their own risks, and has ongoing good communication with their health care provider.

Which STIs are curable?

  • STIs that are caused by bacteria, such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, are most easily curable.
  • Some STIs are caused by viruses. These are not usually curable, but are treatable.

What should I expect at an appointment for testing?

  • You will be asked personal questions about your medical and sexual history to help determine your STI risks and concerns.
  • STI testing is individualized. Your answers are kept confidential. This information is important because tests are often time sensitive, and are most accurate when done after or within certain time intervals. You can view our CSU Health Network STI Test List, under Laboratory Services, for details.
  • With your consent, a physical exam can also be done. For females this will involve a pelvic exam, and for males, most often a brief exam of the genitals.
    • Let your provider know if you have symptoms or issues that concern you before he or she does the exam. The physical exam helps diagnose STIs that do not show up on other tests. For females, although a pelvic exam is done, a pap smear is not always done at an appointment to check for STIs. A female may, however, opt to have some STI testing done at the time of a scheduled pap smear.
  • You may be asked to leave a urine sample, and/or a culture may be done with a swab, and/or you may also wish to have blood work done.
  • There may be brief discussion about how to reduce your risks for STIs.
  • There may be some charges for labs or medicines. Your care provider should let you know which services my require additional charges, but be sure to ask if you have questions. CSU Health Network can bill your health insurance company, or you can pay for those services.

How do I make an appointment?

  • To schedule your personalized clinical consultation, please call the Women’s Clinic at (970) 491-1754 or for Men’s Health appointments, (970) 491-7121.

For a list of current charges for STI testing, see our CSU Health Network STI Test List, under Laboratory Services.

Campus Resources

The CSU Health Network provides you with access to sexual health education and counseling that can reduce your risk of contracting HIV and other STIs as well as reduce the likelihood of unplanned pregnancy.

CSU Health Network Medical Services

To schedule your personalized clinical consultation, please call the Women’s Clinic at (970) 491-1754 or for Men’s Health appointments, (970) 491-7121.

For a list of STI tests available at the CSU Health Network, view our CSU Health Network STI Test List, under Laboratory Services.

CSU Health Network Counseling Services

Call (970) 491-7121 to schedule an appointment with a counseling professional.

CSU Health Network Health Education and Prevention Services

The CSU Health Network Health Education and Prevention Services offer a variety of sexual health resources, including free condoms. Call (970) 491-7121 for more information.

Websites

American Sexual Health Association provides more information on how to protect yourself, talk to your partner(s) and parents, what to do if you have an STD/STI, and much more.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the latest and most credible information regarding sexual and reproductive health. This center is recognized as the lead federal agency for protecting the health and safety of people at home and abroad, providing information to enhance health decisions and promoting health through strong partnerships.

Go Ask Alice is a Q & A database that houses numerous sexual health-related questions and answers. Alice is produced by Columbia University’s Health Education Program.

National Women’s Health Information Center provides information on women’s health issues and specifically on how and when to get emergency contraceptives.

SmarterSex.org was created with the special needs of college students in mind. This interactive site offers great information on sexual health, along with resources and recent surveys. This site is meant to be an educational resource for students and parents to help them make responsible decisions.

Student Sex Life  is an educational resource for college students about sex and healthy relationships. This site also contains Sex IQ and Healthy Relationship quizzes you can take.