This is the ONLY way to protect yourself completely. Many college students are choosing not to have sex.
Say NO! to casual sex. Having one partner for a short time and then moving on to another partner (serial monogamy) is high-risk behavior.
Be direct and honest with partners. TALK first!
Alcohol and other drugs lower your ability to make sensible self- protecting decisions. Drunk sex is rarely safer sex.
Use a lubricated condom every time you have sex, even if you are using another form of birth control
CHOOSE LOWER RISK SEXUAL ACTIVITIES
Kissing, hugging, massaging and touching are generally safer activities than intercourse.
STIs are infections transmitted by intimate sexual contact. Many people with an STI have NO SYMPTOMS or may be unaware of mild symptoms. However, they can still transmit the infection to an unknowing sexual partner. Although treatment is available for all STIs, not all are curable. General signs of STI's include: sores / blisters, rash, penile or vaginal discharge, painful urination, abdominal pain, or even none at all. Here are some facts about the most common STI's:
CHLAMYDIA: Bacterial infection
HERPES: Viral infection
GENITAL WARTS (HPV):
Can become a reality if unprotected sex occurs. In the United States between one and two million people are believed to be infected with HIV. A national study of college students showed that approximately 1-2 per 1,000 students is HIV positive. Because of the long incubation period (up to 10 years) cases of HIV infection may not show up clinically until after an infected student has graduated. It is important to note that the infected person can transmit the virus to others during this symptom-free time. Treatment early in the course of the infection may slow or prevent progression to AIDS.
TESTS for pregnancy, chlamydia and other STI's are all available at the Student Health Center. There is a lot of good information in brochures at the Student Health Center and in the Counseling Center as well. Confidential HIV testing/ counseling is also available through the Student Health Center. These records are kept in a separate locked file and are not part of your permanent medical record. Anonymous HIV testing is available through Health Departments in Roanoke and Charlottesville.