In the event of a known HIV exposure, it's important to act quickly. Call the 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at 512-475-6877 (NURS) immediately for an evaluation regarding post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). Remember, PEP is effective only within the initial 72 hours after exposure.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a concern for everyone who is sexually active. Every year, around 20 million new STI cases arise, with almost half occurring in young adults aged 16-24. Conversations about STIs can be challenging due to societal stigma, but having an STI shouldn't lead to shame. What truly matters is getting tested, understanding your health, prioritizing self-care, and learning how to navigate the complexities of sexual activity. These steps are vital, regardless of your STI status. The good news is that many STIs are easily treatable with antibiotics, while others can be managed through medication and lifestyle adjustments. Vaccines are available to prevent infections like HPV and hepatitis B.
To learn more about treatment options, explore the overview pages for each STI within our health topics pages. Your health is important, and informed decisions empower you to take control.
Keeping yourself and your partner safe from STIs is easier than you might think. The key? Proper and consistent condom use every time you engage in sexual activity. Remember, STIs can spread through oral, anal, and vaginal sex, and some can even be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact.
Condoms are your shield, boasting 98% effectiveness against both STIs and pregnancy if used correctly and consistently. Plus, you can grab free sexual health resources at the Longhorn Wellness Center (SSB 1.106) and at other locations on and off campus.
If you're sexually active, regular STI testing is a must. And if you're starting a new relationship, get tested before becoming intimate. It's all about staying informed and taking control of your sexual health.
If you're worried about having contracted an STI or suspect exposure, acting is crucial. Waiting for symptoms or endless worry won't help. The first step is getting tested.
At UHS, confidential STI testing is simple and accessible. We offer testing for chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis A, B, and C, HIV and syphilis. While herpes and HPV tests are available, they're not recommended if you don’t have symptoms.
If testing at UHS isn’t your preference, several local government agencies and nonprofits in Austin offer STI testing, often at low or no cost.
Remember, testing lays the foundation for managing or treating an STI. Schedule an appointment at UHS by booking within the portal or calling 512-471-4955.
When you visit UHS, we are required to use the insurance information you have on file for any necessary billing. Any copayments or additional fees will be displayed on your "What I Owe" page. This information can also be viewed by individuals you have granted EProxy access to. The charge on your statement will be listed as a ‘general UHS fee’.
The specific details of your UHS visit will never be disclosed on your "What I Owe" page. However, if you wish, you can request a detailed breakdown of your visit and associated charges from the Billing and Insurance Office. It's important to note that your insurance statement might still indicate the general medical care you received at UHS.
If you prefer not to involve your insurance for STI testing, there are several off-campus STI testing clinics in Austin that offer either free or low-cost services. This way, you can maintain the confidentiality you desire.
Most patients who have a sexually transmitted infection do not have symptoms, but symptoms that might be caused by an STI can include:
It is important to get tested as early diagnosis and management reduce the risk of complications – including infertility, organ damage, cancers and an increased risk of acquiring another STI. Always get tested at the first sign of an STI. It is recommended to get tested at least once per year. If you have multiple or new sexual partners, consider getting tested more than once per year.
You will complete a confidential questionnaire prior to booking your appointment. Your answers will help your clinician choose the most appropriate tests for your circumstances. We will tailor your appointment to your unique needs. It is important that you provide honest and accurate information on the pre-appointment questionnaire. UHS clinicians are non-judgmental. Plan on being at UHS for about an hour for these appointments.
After sexual intercourse, it is recommended that you test
In the cases of herpes and HPV, lab testing is only useful when a person has symptoms that suggest an infection, such as a rash, bumps, warts or sores. Tests cannot say with accuracy that you don’t have herpes or HPV. Therefore, routine screening is not helpful or recommended. If you think you might have herpes or HPV, schedule an appointment to be evaluated by a healthcare provider. For HPV prevention, men and women should get vaccinated and women should typically get screened for cervical cancer at their routine wellness exams.
UHS follows current CDC laboratory guidelines and uses 4th generation antigen/antibody testing with reflect MultiSpot testing. These tests can detect HIV antibodies much sooner after exposure than previous tests. Alere Determine HIV Point of Care rapid testing is available also.
Book within the portal or by calling 512-471-4955.
There is a $10 charge for all STI testing visits also, to protect your privacy, UHS does not post medical details to the What I Owe tab within the portal. See the Charges and Insurance page for additional information.
At your appointment, you’ll be asked how you want to receive your results. Results are available 1-5 days after your appointment. If your results are positive, the next step depends on the type of STI for which you have tested positive. Often, we can call for a prescription to your pharmacy. Other times, you may be asked to come in to get treatment and speak with a nurse or provider.
UHS utilizes chaperones for all sensitive physical examinations, including breast, genital and rectal exams. For more information, view the Patient Guide to Sensitive Health Exams.
Visit the Health Topics page for information on sexual health, annual exams, birth control methods and more. The providers at this clinic refer patients to appropriate resources for services not available at UHS.
You can bring a friend/partner to your appointment, but remember, your appointment is just for you. If your friend/partner is a fellow UT student and wants to get tested, encourage them to make their own appointment. Non-UT students can get tested off campus.
If you do test positive for an STI, tell your current or past partner(s):
Be honest and straightforward and remain open to your partner’s questions, thoughts and emotions. Plan what you are going to say. Imagine how you’d like to be told. Remember, some STIs don’t cause symptoms immediately, if ever. It is possible that your or your partner got the STI from a previous relationship, even one in which you did not have penetrative sex. Talking face-to-face is preferable, but if you decide to call or text, ask if it’s a good time before delivering the news.
If you’re concerned that your partner might retaliate, notify them by phone, email, text or anonymously instead of contacting them in person. If you have concerns, call the 24/7 Behavior Concerns Advice Line (BCAL) at 512-232-5050.
For future partners, if you have an STI that can be treated, but not cured like genital herpes, HIV or HPV, talk to your healthcare provider about how to avoid passing the STI to sexual partners and tell your future partners before any sexual a contact occurs. To do this, be open and straightforward. You can start by saying, ‘Before we have sex, I want us to talk about STIs and protection, because I have [type of STI.]” Create a conversation that is open to all questions, thoughts and emotions to make your potential partner feel more comfortable. Give them time to process the information and make an informed decision about having sex with you. Let them know that you are available to answer questions and to continue the conversation. Know there are other ways you can be intimate and express your feelings for one another if you decide not to have vaginal, anal or oral sex. If you decide to be sexual in any way, practice safer sex.
The University of Texas at Austin
University Health Services
Student Services Building, 1.400
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
|Monday - Friday, 8am to 5pm by appointment|
University Health Services is committed to providing high-quality care to patients of all ages, races, ethnicities, physical abilities or attributes, religions, sexual orientations, or gender identities/expression.
100 West Dean Keeton Student Services Building (SSB)