Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI)

Any sexually active person is at risk of contracting an STI. If you feel there is any chance you could be infected, the first step should always be avoiding sexual contact and seeing your healthcare provider.

Do not worry about a “false alarm”, see your physician immediately. Many of these illnesses are easier to manage when caught early, and will also lower the risk of passing the pathogen on. If you do not have access to a health care professional in the immediate future, there are various you can do in the meantime: research, be aware of your symptoms, get tested at a free testing center, and practice healthy behaviours. The body can fight infection better when it is healthy. Do not have unprotected sexual contact with others until you have been cleared by a physician. Avoiding sexual activity is the best prevention method. If you are told you are infected, notify all your sex partners immediately.

STI spreads during vaginal, anal and oral sex, and sometimes genital touching. HIV and hepatitis B are spread via bloodstream. STIs live in warm, moist areas. Thus, they infect the mouth, rectum and sex organs.

What to watch for: 

Women

  • Unusual discharge or smell from the vagina
  • Pain in the pelvic area between the belly button and the genitals organs
  • Burning or itching in the groin
  • Bleeding from the vagina (other than your regular menstrual cycle)
  • Sores, bumps or blisters near the mouth, genitals or rectum
  • Burning or pain when you urinate or have a bowel movement
  • Need to urinate often
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Swelling in your groin

Men

  • Drip or discharge from the penis
  • Itching in the groin
  • Sores, bumps or blisters near the mouth, genitals or rectum
  • Burning or pain when you urinate or have a bowel movement
  • Need to urinate often
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Swelling in your groin

  

The SMC Health & Wellness Center provides STI testing for all full-time undergraduate students attending SMC.  Testing is covered under most insurance benefits and we also offer a self-pay option for students seeking confidential results.  Please call the Health & Wellness Center to schedule an appointment at (925) 631.4254.  

Most county health departments have special STI clinics. Private health care providers also treat STI.

Untreated STIs can lead to:

  • Fertility problems
  • Sexual problems
  • Other serious health problems

Treatment

Many STIs can be cured using antibiotics. Consult the Health and Wellness Center or your physician for appropriate treatment.

 

See below for information on specific STIs.