Ohio University Health Alerts: Sexually transmitted infections
What are STIs?
STIs are infections spread through sexual contact, most often through semen, blood, or vaginal excretions.
Who is at risk?
How common are STIs?
How do I prevent STIs?
Wearing a condom is the best prevention to contracting an STI. Birth control pills do not protect from disease.
Although condoms are not 100 percent effective, they dramatically reduce the risk of contracting almost all STIs, provided they are consistently and correctly used.
The risk of contracting an STI is also multiplied with each sexual partner. Those who have sex with many people expose themselves to the possible diseases of each of their partners' partners. Every sexual encounter should be made with careful consideration and communication about each partners' sexual history.
Alcohol and drugs also impair judgment, which can lead to risky sexual encounters and improper use of protection.
Will I know if I have an STI?
Your doctor can assist you in determining which STIs you should be tested for. But you need to take the first step - initiating the conversation and asking to be tested.
Are STIs treatable?
Delaying care for an STI can have long-term and sometimes irreversible health consequences, such as infertility, increased risk of cancer, or even death. Having an STI also makes you more susceptible for contracting HIV and other STIs if you have sex with an infected partner.
Where can I go to be tested?
Students may also seek testing at Athens Health Center, a division of Planned Parenthood, located at 1005 East State St., Suite W.
Where can I learn more about STIs?
The group's weekly educational forums include a "Latexology" course, designed to educate students on forms of latex and their proper use to prevent STIs. The group also sponsors annual programming for Romance Responsibility Month in February and HIV/AIDS Awareness Week in May.
What other University resources are available?