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Sexually Transmitted Infections

The SHC offers evaluation and diagnostic testing of STIs (including HIV) for students who have symptoms such as:

  • Unusual discharge from the penis, vagina or anus
  • Sores, blisters, ulcers, warts or rashes in the genital area
  • Pain during sex, urination or passing a bowel movement
  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting after sex or in between periods
  • Pelvic, abdominal, testicular or anal pain

Many STIs cause no obvious symptoms. SHC offers screening for students who have no symptoms but want to check if they may have an STI.

I have no symptoms but want to be screened - what infections will you check for?
  • The SHC typically screens for 4 different STIs—HIV antibody, syphilis (blood test), chlamydia and gonorrhea (urine test). Sites tested may include the vagina, penis, rectum and throat depending on sites of sexual contact.
  • If you make an appointment for testing, you may be asked to give a blood sample and provide a urine sample. For the urine chlamydia and gonorrhea tests to be accurate, don’t urinate for at least 1 hour before providing the sample. 
  • NOTE: No clinic (including the SHC) screens for every STI. For example, most clinics do not do screening testing for herpes. So—a person can have negative test results (i.e. no evidence of infection) for the 4 infections listed above and still have an STI.
  • This is why it is important to use condoms and barriers every time even if the testing comes back “clean”.
Is there a charge for testing?
  • The cost depends on your insurance coverage—many insurance plans now cover the cost of periodic STI screening testing (including the RIT plan). Check with your insurance company.  
  • The lab used by the SHC also offers the option of self-payment at a discounted rate for those without insurance.
  • Options for free testing are noted below
Free STI testing is available off campus at:
  • Monroe County Health Department STI Clinic
    Bullshead Plaza, 855 W. Main St. Rochester, NY 14611
    (585) 753-5481
    Walk in HIV and STI testing. M&Th 9:30-3:30, T&W 8:30-3:30, F 8:30-11:30
  • Trillium Health
    259 Monroe Ave. (at Alexander) Rochester, NY 14607
    (585) 545-7200, Toll free (800) 266-9292
    Walk in HIV testing M-F 9:00 -5:00 (until 7 pm on T)

    STI testing for men who have sex with men and high risk women T 9:00-7:00 ONLY
How can I avoid getting STIs?

Abstaining from sexual contact (including oral sex) is the only way to protect yourself 100% but there are ways to make sex safer:

  • Talk with your partner (before you have sex) about the importance of preventing STIs for both of you. This is a difficult but very important conversation. 
  • Use latex (or polyurethane for those allergic to latex) condoms (male or female) and barriers (dental dams) for oral, anal and vaginal sex--every time.
  • Don't mix alcohol or drug use with sexual activity. Many people use alcohol or other substances to "loosen up" but they also impair judgment and may lead to risky behavior.
  • Remember: Many STIs have no obvious symptoms. Your partner may feel and look fine but could still pass on a serious infection.
  • If you have ever had unprotected sexual contact, even once, or if you notice any symptoms, get tested.
Why is preventing STIs so important?
  • Some STIs can be treated but are not curable –herpes and HIV, for example.
  • STIs can have serious health consequences, such as infertility, if left untreated.
  • STIs, especially those that cause sores and ulcers, can facilitate the spread of HIV infection.
  • One STI (high risk subtypes of HPV - Human Papilloma Virus) can increase the risk of developing cervical, anal and oral cancer in the future.
I think I have an infection. What do I do now?
  • Try not to panic.
  • Make an appointment with a medical clinician (SHC or off campus) for an evaluation as soon as possible.
  • If you have a preference for a male or female provider, just ask.
  • The clinician will ask questions about symptoms you are experiencing, sexual practices, condom and barrier use and any previous history of STIs.
  • You will be examined, tested and treated, as appropriate.
  • The clinician will provide information, answer any questions, and discuss safer sex practices. 
Where can I get more information?
  • Make an appointment to talk with a SHC medical clinician.