The Wellness Resource Center supports you in making whatever sexual decisions you choose. We want you, and your partner, to be smart and safe when deciding your level of sexual activity.
It is vital to protect yourself from possible sexually transmitted diseases and infections. More than half of all of us will get one at some time in our lives! The number one symptom of an STI is nothing at all, so make sure you use protection every time. Practicing safer sex allows you to reduce your risk of getting sexually transmitted diseases. And if you've done anything that puts you at risk of infection, getting tested allows you to get any treatments you may need.
If you would like to be tested for an STI, please visit Student Health. Student Health does not test for HIV but the Wellness Resource Center does on Tuesdays and Thursdays during Fall and Spring semesters.
The most common sexually transmitted infections in the Temple University student community are HPV (the human papillomavirus) and chlamydia.
HPV can be a tricky STD to understand. It’s the most common STD, but most of the time it goes away on its own. Sometimes certain types of “high-risk” HPV can develop into cancer if left untreated. Other “low-risk” types of HPV can cause warts on your vulva, vagina, cervix, rectum, anus, penis or scrotum.
Genital Warts caused by HPV are a viral infection transmitted by skin-to-skin contact.
Type 1 herpes is associated with oral cold sores but can be transmitted to the genital area during oral sex. Type 2 herpes, “classic” genital herpes, usually has recurrent episodes. The virus can be passed by skin-to-skin contact not only during “outbreaks” or recurrences but also when symptoms may not be present. Genital warts show up on the skin around your genitals and anus. They’re caused by certain types of human papillomavirus (HPV). You might’ve heard that some types of HPV can cause cancer, but they’re NOT the same kinds that give you genital warts.
Genital warts can be spread even if no one cums, and a penis doesn’t have to go inside a vagina or anus to get them. You can spread them even when you don’t have any visible warts or other symptoms, though that’s less common. Genital warts look like skin-colored or whitish bumps that show up on your vulva, vagina, cervix, penis, scrotum, or anus. They kind of look like little pieces of cauliflower. You can have just one wart or a bunch of them, and they can be big or small. They might be itchy, but most of the time they don’t hurt. Genital warts are different from warts you might get elsewhere on your body. So you can’t get genital warts by touching yourself (or a partner) with a wart that’s on your hand or foot. You’re more likely to pass genital warts when you’re having symptoms. So if you notice a wart, it’s best to get tested and treated to help lower the risk of passing genital warts on to a partner.
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection that’s easily cured with antibiotic medicine. It’s one of the most common STDs.
Most people with chlamydia don’t have any symptoms and feel totally fine, so they might not even know they’re infected. When people do have symptoms they may experience pain or burning while peeing, pain during sex, lower belly pain, abnormal vaginal discharge (may be yellowish and have a strong smell), bleeding between periods, pus or a watery/milky discharge from the penis, swollen or tender testicles, or pain, discharge and/or bleeding around the anus.
Chlamydia is spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. The infection is carried in semen (cum), pre-cum, and vaginal fluids. Chlamydia can infect the penis, vagina, cervix, anus, urethra, eyes, and throat. Chlamydia is usually spread during sexual contact with someone who has the infection. It can happen even if no one cums. The main ways people get chlamydia are from having vaginal sex and anal sex, but it can also be spread through oral sex. You cannot get chlamydia from sharing food or drinks, kissing, hugging, holding hands, coughing, sneezing, or sitting on the toilet. Rarely, you can get chlamydia by touching your eye if you have infected fluids on your hand. Chlamydia can also be spread to a baby during birth if the mother has it.
Chlamydia can be easily cleared up with antibiotics. But if you don’t treat chlamydia, it may lead to major health problems in the future. That’s why STD testing is so important — the sooner you know you have chlamydia, the faster you can cure it. You can prevent chlamydia by using condoms every time you have sex.