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Sexually Transmitted Infections

For a known HIV exposure, call the Nurse Advice Line (512) 475-6877 (NURS) ASAP to be evaluated for a prescription of Truvada (a pre-exposure prophylaxis known as PReP). PReP can help significantly lower your risk of being infected with HIV.

Sexually transmitted infections are a risk for every sexually active person. Every year, 20 million people are newly infected with some type of STI—and almost half of those people are young adults ages 16-24.

Talking about having an STI can be difficult—there’s a lot of harmful social stigma around having one. But the truth is, having an STI is nothing to be ashamed of, and definitely nothing to shame people for. What is important is to get tested, know your status, take care of your body, and learn how to manage the risks of being sexually active. These steps are important regardless of your STI status.

Many STIs are treatable with just a few doses of antibiotics. Others can be managed by medication and lifestyle changes. HPV and hepatitis B can even be prevented with a vaccine. You can read more about how each STI is treated on their respective overview pages.

STI Protection

The best way to protect yourself and your partner from contracting an STI is to use condoms correctly and consistently every time you have sexual contact. STIs can be transmitted through oral, anal, and vaginal sex, and some (like herpes and HPV) can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact even without penetration.

Condoms are 98% effective at preventing both STI transmission and pregnancy when used correctly and consistently. You can get 3 free condoms every day (plus free internal condoms, lube, and dental dams) at the Office of Health Promotion, located in SSB 1.106. You can find more opportunities to get free condoms on campus here.

If you are sexually active, you should also get tested for STIs regularly. And make sure you get yourself tested before you become sexually active with a new partner.

hash tag get yourself tested

I think I have an STI. What do I do?

If you’re worried you have an STI—or worried that you might have been exposed to one—the best thing to do is to get tested. Worrying about symptoms or waiting indefinitely for them to appear won’t put your mind at ease or help your body heal if you do have an STI.

At UHS, you can get easy, confidential STI testing. UHS will test for chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV, and syphilis. Herpes and HPV tests are also available, but are not recommended if you aren’t experiencing symptoms.

If you’re not comfortable getting tested at UHS, there are a number of local government agencies and nonprofit organizations that provide STI testing in the Austin area. Many of these services are free or low-cost.

Medication can help you manage an STI or treat it completely—but first, you have to get yourself tested. To make an appointment, go online or call UHS at 512-471-4955.

I don’t want STI testing to show up on my insurance statement. Can I still go to UHS?

At UHS, we are required to use your on-file insurance information when charging you for medical care. Any copays or additional charges will be posted to your What I Owe page. Anyone you have given EProxy privileges to will be able to see this amount. The charge will be listed as a general UHS charge. A list of common charges for the STI clinic is available online so that you can calculate the expected cost of your visit.

Specific information about your UHS visit will never be posted to your What I Owe, although you can request an itemized record of your visit and charges from the UHS Cashier & Insurance Office. Your insurance statement may also reflect the specific medical care you have received at UHS.

If you don’t want to use your insurance to get tested for STIs, a number of off-campus STI testing clinics provide free or low-cost services in Austin. Currently enrolled students can also to apply to get the Get Yourself Tested Fund, which provides free STI testing at UHS to studewnts regardless of insurance status.

I don’t have insurance at all. Can I still go to UHS?

At UHS, we believe your insurance status should not prevent you from receiving high-quality medical care. If you’re uninsured, you can still pay a discounted out-of-pocket rate for any UHS services you use. You can see a list of common charges for the STI clinic here. You can pay on the day of your visit or have the charges posted to your What I Owe page. Anyone you have given EProxy privileges to will be able to see this amount. The charge will be listed as a general UHS charge.

You can learn more about insurance and UHS charges from our UHS Cashier & Insurance Office.

You can also visit one of these off-campus STI testing clinics that provide free or low-cost services.

What happens during an STI testing appointment at UHS?

You can learn about the process of getting tested at UHS here. Testing at UHS is always confidential.

Patient Privacy

Federal law protects your privacy as a patient. UHS will not disclose medical information to your roommates, friends, professors, or family members—even if those family members pay for your tuition and expenses. You can read more about patient privacy here.

Learn More About Specific STIs:

Hepatitis B

Healthy Sexuality Links

Healthy Sexuality Topics
Classes and Workshops
Get Free or Low-Cost Condoms
Safer Sex Ambassadors
Contraception for College Students Video Series
Men's Sexual Health
Off-Campus STI / HIV testing locations
Sexual Anatomy
Sexually Transmitted Infections
UHS STI Testing
UHS Sexual Assault Forensic Exams
UHS Women's Health
UHS Lending Library

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