Sexual Health Screenings
- STI and HIV testing is offered at the University Health Center. Testing is inexpensive, easy, and offered in a non-judgmental environment.
- Most people think they would know if they had a sexually transmitted infection. Wrong! The truth is, most STIs have no signs or symptoms. Or they have mild signs that can be easily overlooked.
- The only way to know if you have a STI is to get tested.
- If you are sexually active, it is recommended to get tested annually for common STIs. Annual HIV tests are also recommended. More information about STI and HIV screening recommendations.
Common Sexual Health Screenings
Type of Test: Swab of genital area or urine sample
Chlamydia is common in the U.S. with nearly 3 million cases reported each year. Most women with chlamydia (and about half of men) do not experience symptoms. Since symptoms may not be present, the only way to know if a person who may be at risk is infected with chlamydia is to be tested.
Type of Test: Blood test or sample from sore
Gonorrhea is a curable infection. It is transmitted during vaginal, anal, and oral sex (performing or receiving). Many men infected with gonorrhea have symptoms, while most women do not. Even when women do have symptoms, they can be mistaken for a bladder infection or other vaginal infection.
Type of Test: Blood test or sample from sore
Syphilis - Syphilis is a curable, bacterial infection. The bacteria enter the body through mucous membranes or torn or cut skin. Once inside the body, syphilis enters the blood stream and attaches to cells, damaging organs over time.
Type of Test: Blood test
Hepatitis A, B, C - Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that can be caused by a group of viruses.
Type of Test: Visual diagnosis
Oral Herpes - More than 50 percent of the adult population in the United States has oral herpes. Herpes can also be transmitted when there are no symptoms present.
Type of Test: Blood test or swab of affected area
It is estimated that one in five persons in the United States has genital herpes; however, as many as 90 percent are unaware that they have the virus.
Type of Test: Blood test
HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. It is the virus that causes AIDS. Over time, infection with HIV can weaken the immune system to the point that the system has difficulty fighting off certain infections.
Common Sexual Health Screening FAQs
10 million young people ages 15-24 are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection each year.
Women can have long term effects of these diseases, including pelvic inflammatory disease, chronic pelvic pain, tubal scarring, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility.
Many STIs have no signs or symptoms in the majority of people infected, or mild symptoms that can be easily overlooked.
If you are sexually active, STI and HIV testing should be part of your yearly health and wellness exam.
STIs are not like allergies; you can’t do a massive test for all STIs. STI tests are specific to each infection. You need to ask to be tested. You and a health care provider will decide which STIs you should receive.
Be honest and open with your health care provider about your sexual history. They are there to help you, not to judge you.
Your health care provider will help you make important decisions about test(s) you may need. Certain STIs are so common that your health care provider may suggest that you get tested regularly for them.
Generally, medical information is kept confidential between the patient and health care provider.
Positive results for some STIs, like HIV or syphilis, may be shared with state or city health departments for tracking purposes, but there are laws preventing health departments from sharing your test results with your family, friends, or employer.
If you use health insurance to get tested, you should consider who else has access to that information (like a parent or partner if you share health insurance).
Be sure to ask your health care provider who will know that you got tested and who will know your results, especially if you are using insurance. Ask questions and stay informed.
Okay, so you have an STI. Breathe. Remember, the side effects and health outcomes of many STIs can be treated and many STIs are curable. There are different treatments for different STIs. For some STIs, there are several treatment options. Here are two examples:
If you test positive for chlamydia, you will be given a prescription for an antibiotic that will cure this case of chlamydia. It is important that you follow the treatment recommended by your health care provider-completely. Always continue your medication until it is finished, even if your symptoms have gone away.
You could still get chlamydia again, if you have sex with someone who has chlamydia. So it’s important that your partner(s) also get tested and treated for chlamydia before resuming sexual activity.
If you test positive for herpes, you can take medications to treat the symptoms. While herpes is not a curable STI, it is easily treatable with medication. Medications are also available to help prevent future outbreaks and minimize their severity, as well as to lower the chances of passing the virus on to partners.
About one in six adults have herpes in the U.S.-and they live normal, healthy lives. You’re not alone! You can also join support groups for people with herpes to help you cope and prevent transmission to others.
Some conversations seem really hard to have. Telling someone you have an STI is one of them. But it’s not just about you. Your partner needs to know so he or she can get tested and treated if necessary.
Everyone gets an STI from someone else. Part of stopping the spread of STIs is open communication, so talk to your partner. This is never an easy conversation, but it is a very important conversation to have. Many couples report that this conversation actually brings them closer together.
Make a plan. As soon as you’re ready, you should bring it up with your partner. You could talk to someone else about it first and practice what you’re going to say. You could journal about it or practice talking in a mirror. You could even write your partner a letter. The main point is just to communicate. Be there for your partner the way you hope they would be there for you.
Steps for Getting Tested at the University Health Center
- Call the University Health Center at (402) 472-5000 to talk to a nurse about STI testing.
- Make an appointment to get tested.
- When you arrive at the University Health Center, check in at the Front Desk. You will then proceed to the Laboratory on the 3rd floor of the University Health Center.
- Your test results will be sent to the University Health Center up to 3 days after testing. A University Health Center nurse will call you to discuss your results.
Billing Information: If you use insurance to help pay for STI testing, the primary insurance holder will receive information about what STI tests you received. If you pay for your STI tests by cash, check, Visa or Mastercard, you - and only you - will know what STI tests you received.
Free HIV Testing at the Gaughan Multicultural Center
The University Health Center Health Promotion and Outreach department offers free HIV testing in a safe, comfortable environment. Tests are performed by peer health educators, who also teach students about safe sexual health behaviors and how to reduce their risk for STIs.
- Every Monday and Thursday - 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM - during the academic year
- Jackie Gaughan Multicultural Center, Room 313
- Tests are painless. Get results in 20 minutes.
Don't know if you should get tested? You're not alone. Take this quiz
Nervous about getting tested for HIV? You're not alone. Watch this video
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