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Self Care and Other Topics

Sexually Transmitted Infections and College Students

It is difficult for today's college students to get accurate facts regarding sexually transmitted diseases (STI's). The media often hypes certain information and ignores other facts. Plus there is a lot that is simply unknown to the medical community regarding some sexually transmitted diseases, like herpes and HIV. One fact is certain. Sexually transmitted diseases are preventable. The following information is provided to give you the most up to date facts on the most common infections. The decision to become sexually active has never been easy. Talk with your partner(s). Discuss your concerns. Communicate!

General Symptoms

  • The number one symptom is NO symptom
  • Irritation: itches, pain, rash, tenderness around the vagina, penis, rectum
  • Unusual, smelly, colored discharge from the vagina or penis
  • Blisters, sores, chancres, lumps, warts, polyps around the genitals
  • Some STI’s have no initial symptoms, so all the more important to talk to your health care provider about your possible exposure

Diagnosis

Most commonly used test for STI's is a simple urine test, by a physical examination, or in some cases a blood test is done. A PAP smear tests for the presence of cancer-causing cells and is not designed to diagnose STI's. All are available at Student Health by appointment.

Safer Sex

  • Use condoms and water based lubricant not only to prevent pregnancy, but also to prevent transmission of infections. The pill does not provide any protection against STI's.
  • Limit the number of sexual partners you have and try to get to know your partners' past sexual and drug use history. Be open about your concerns.
  • High risk drinking is considered a risk factor for contracting STI's
  • If you are diagnosed with an infection, tell your partner(s). They may also need treatment.
  • Though there are ways to reduce your risk and practice safer sex, abstinence is the only truely safe method.

Testing and Treatment

Linfield Student Health Wellness and Couseling 503-883-2535

Yamhill County Health Department 503-883-7525

Your family doctor or other local health clinics

McMinnville Planned Parenthood (888) 875-7820

Cascade AIDS Project - Gay & Bisexual men 503-223-5907

Hotlines

National STD Hotline (M-F 8am-11pm) 1-800-227-8922

AIDS Information Hotline (24hr) 1-800-342-AIDS

Oregon AIDS Hotline 1-800-777-AIDS

Herpes Hotline 1-919-361-8488

Websites

American Social Health Association, www.ashastd.org

I Wanna Know, www.Iwannaknow.org

CDC National Prevention Information Network, www.cdcnpin.org

Disclaimer: This site provides general educational information on health topics and about health services for Linfield Students. Its contents are not intended to diagnose, treat, or provide a second opinion on any health problem or disease. See your health care practitioner for specific medical assistance.