Whether you are ready to be sexually active or not, we are here to support your choices. Below are resources to help make informed decisions about sexual activity.
- The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control
- Preventing Sexually Transmitted Infections
- Sexual Consent
Sexually Transmitted Infections Facts
– Anyone who is sexually active (oral, vaginal or anal sex) can get an STI
– STIs affect people of all ages, backgrounds, and crosses all socioeconomic classes
– About 1 in 4 college students has an STI
– Most people who have an STI don’t have any symptoms
– The only way to be sure you don’t have an STI is to get tested regularly
– Testing is often as simple as a urine test although a blood test may be needed
– The good news is that many STIs are curable, and all are treatable
URI Health Services STI Testing and Resources
If you have questions or concerns about STIs, URI Health Services is here to help you in a professional and non-judgmental manner. Since many STIs do not cause symptoms, it is important to test regularly. Although it is recommended to test at least once a year, more frequent testing should be done if needed or desired. All full-time URI students are eligible to have STI testing at URI Health Services. You do not have to have URI Health Insurance to have your testing done here. We can answer any insurance or coverage questions you may have.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) infection may have no symptoms. Most people who get HIV get it through anal or vaginal sex, or sharing needles, syringes, or other drug infection equipment. HIV risk can be decreased by using condoms and with medications prescribed by a medical provider (PrEP). Please call to schedule an appointment if you are interested in scheduling PrEP.
Syphilis is a bacterial infection that develops in stages (primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary). Each stage can have different signs and symptoms. Primary syphilis can cause a temporary and painless genital sore (chancre) that often goes unnoticed because it is painless. The infection continues to develop, but the initial symptoms resolve. The symptoms can sometimes return to cause a rash on the palms, soles and body.
Herpes: Herpes Simplex Virus 1 (HSV-1) and Herpes Simplex Virus II (HSV-2)
Herpes is an infection caused by two types of viruses – herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). HSV-1 often causes oral herpes, which can result in ‘cold sores’ or ‘fever blisters’ on or around the mouth. However, most people with oral herpes do not have any symptoms.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Human papillomavirus (HPV), is the most common sexually transmitted infection and in fact, most people that have sex will get HPV at some point in their lives. HPV is a group of viruses with many different types that are usually harmless and go away on their own, but some types can cause genital warts and cancers later in life.
Molluscum Contagiosum is caused by a virus that infects the outer layer of skin. It can be sexually transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, but it is also easily spread through non-sexual touching and by sharing clothes and towels. It is therefore not necessarily considered an STI and anyone can contract molluscum at any age.
Hepatitis B (Hep B)
Hepatitis B is caused by a virus that infects the liver. It can cause serious illness and currently there is no cure. Hep B is very contagious and can be sexually transmitted through semen, vaginal fluids, blood, and urine. It can also be spread through contact with infected body fluids when sharing toothbrushes and razors that may have blood on them, and sharing needles if injecting drugs or getting piercings or tattoos. Health care workers can become infected through accidental needle-sticks.
Hepatitis C (Hep C)
Hepatitis C is a viral liver infection caused by the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Hepatitis C is usually spread when someone comes into contact with blood from an infected person.
While uncommon, Hepatitis C can be spread during sex, and it has been reported more often among men who have sex with men.