Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are
infections you catch through sexual contact. The most common on
college campuses include genital warts, chlamydia, and genital
Most bacterial STDs, like gonorrhea,
chlamydia, and syphilis, are relatively easy to cure with
antibiotics if caught early. Viral STDs, like genital warts,
genital herpes, and even AIDS are technically incurable but are
You do not need to feel guilty, ashamed, or
embarrassed if you think you have an STD. But if you do have
these feelings, do not let them prevent you from getting
treatment. STDs do not go away by themselves, and in many cases
relatively quick, painless treatments are available.
No one is immune to STDs. Everyone who is
sexually active can get or transmit an STD. It is not who you are
that makes you vulnerable to an STD - it is what you do. Reduce
your risk by protecting yourself.
Making Sex Safer - What You Can Do
To eliminate risk, abstain form sexual contact (penetrative or
touching without penetration). Some STDs, including HPV, HSV,
molluscums, and chancroid can be spread by touching - either
genital to genital or hand to genital - so massage and mutual
masturbation can be risky.
If you are sexually active, you can lower
your risks in the following ways:
Form a monogamous relationship in which
you and your partner make an agreement to be faithful
sexually and stick to it.
Avoid sexual contact (penetrative or
touching without penetration) until you are reasonably sure -
through testing and examination - that you and your partner are
free of STDs. Be aware that there are limitations to the value
of testing, as latent bacteria and viruses can be present
without visual evidence or even positive testing.
Use condoms made of latex or polyurethane
While condoms do not provide 100 percent
protection, they do provide the best protection now available.
If possible, also use a vaginal spermicide containing
nonoxynol-9 to create an additional barrier against some STDs.
Women who feel hesitant about providing condoms and insisting
on their use need to remember that many STDs are more dangerous
for them - females have fewer obvious symptoms and a higher
risk of health consequences.
Despite the limitations already noted,
include STD testing as part of your regular medical
, especially if you have changed partners
or have more than one partner. Do not wait for symptoms to
appear, as a large percentage of those who have an STD are
unaware of any symptoms.
Learn the common symptoms of STDs
(for those that have symptoms), and seek
medical help immediately if any suspicious symptoms develop -
even mild ones - or if your sexual partner suspects he or she
has had contact with an STD.
Do not use drugs, including
, in potentially intimate situations.
Drugs inhibit your ability to make decisions.
Antibiotics and Antivirals
Bacterial STDs are usually treated with an antibiotic. Antiviral
medications are available for only a few viral STDs. The
treatment will be most effective if you do the following.
Follow instructions in the prescribed
Avoid sexual contact until you have
completed the entire treatment, even if your symptoms disappear
before the treatment is finished.
Notify your current sexual partner (and any
previous partners) so that they can be treated. All partners
should be treated at the same time to guard against
AIDS Information for Students, Faculty, and
MTSU Student Health Services urges EVERYONE to become more
aware of the number one health problem of the nation.
So You Want To Be Tested for STDs...
You should be tested for a sexually transmitted disease
You have: bumps, blisters near your sex
organs/rectum, pain in pelvic region, burning or itching in or
around sex organs, pain with sex, bleeding between periods, or
Your sex partner is being tested or treated
You are between the ages of 18-25, talk
with your provider and consider being tested for STDs
Had sexual intercourse without
Have had more than 2 partners in last 6
You are an IV drug user.