Sexually Transmitted Infections

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections that can be spread by having sexual contact (anal, vaginal, or oral) with another person who is infected. Most STIs are curable, although some are not. Many people who have been infected with a STI don't even know it. They may look and feel healthy, but they still could be infected.

Furthermore, some people who have been diagnosed will not share this information with their partner(s). It is your responsibility to employ good judgment, use preventative measures, and be tested if you suspect that you have been infected.

Practicing safe sex can cut down on the spread of STIs but not totally prevent them. To decrease risk:

  • Abstain from sexual contact—anal, vaginal, or oral.
  • Engage in a monogamous relationship in which both partners agree to be faithful sexually.
  • Use condoms made of latex or polyurethane.
  • Include STI testing as part of your regular medical checkup, especially if you have changed partners or have more than one partner.
  • Don‘t drink alcohol if there is a chance of unintended or unwanted sexual activity.
  • Get vaccinated for hepatitis A and B.

Sexually Transmitted Infection Testing Resources

Albion College provides all students with instructions on how to obtain testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Testing is available for gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, and hepatitis B and C upon request. All testing is confidential.

Student Health Services

Phone: 517/629-0220

STI testing, except for HIV, may be done during walk-in or during Doctor’s hours with an appointment. Costs vary according to the tests done. Health insurance companies may be billed or costs can be self-paid to the lab after billing is sent directly to the student. Testing and its results are confidential; however, when using commercial health insurance, explanation of benefits letters may be sent by the insurance company to the home billing address. These letters often list the tests that were performed, but not the result of the testing.

Calhoun County Health Department (Albion office)

214 East Michigan (across from Biggby Coffee.)
Albion MI 49224
Phone: 517/629-9434

Walk-in hours for STI, HIV, and Pregnancy testing  

Monday-Thursday 8:00am-11:00am and 1:00pm-4:00pm  Mondays and Tuesdays are by appointment.  

HIV testing is available free of charge..

Jackson County Health Department

1715 Lansing Ave.
Jackson, MI 49202
Phone: 517/788-4420

Walk-in testing is done Monday-Friday 8:00am-12pm and 1:00pm-5:00pm.  Last check-in is 4:00pm.

Call first for availablity as hours are subject to change without notice.

Cost: Donation. .

Planned Parenthood of Jackson

2009 W. Michigan Ave. (across from Westwood Mall)
Jackson, MI 49202
Phone: 517/784-1700

Walk-in hours are as follows:

Monday: 9-5 pm
Wednesday: 12pm - 8 pm
Friday: 9am - 5 pm

Call for more information and prices.

 

Web Resources

Student Health Services: On-Line Self Care Guide (Sexual Health)

Go Ask Alice at www.goaskalice.columbia.edu
Go Ask Alice is the health question and answer Internet service produced by Alice! Columbia University’s Health Education Program – a division of Health Services at Columbia.

MyStudentBody,com® provides reliable health information on the web. The myStudentBody site addresses the relevant health issues encountered by college students today.

Remember: Sometimes symptoms do not show up for weeks or months.

Common STIs

Infection

Female Symptoms Male Symptoms Possible Problems Other Thoughts
Gonorrhea
Curable
Pus-like vaginal discharge, lower abdominal pain, painful urination or no symptoms at all. Pus discharge from penis.  Pain when urinating. May have no symptoms. Infertility (inability to conceive), repeated pelvic infections in women, damage to newborns. Symptoms show up 2-21 days after sex.  Curable with proper treatment.
Chlamydia Curable No symptoms for 60-80% of women. Some have vaginal discharge, pain when urinating, dull pelvic pain or bleeding between periods. No symptoms for 50% of men. Pain when urinating or watery discharge from penis. Infertility in men and women, eye and lung infections in newborns. Symptoms show up 7-28 days after sex. Once identified, Chlamydia can be cured painlessly with antibiotics.
Trichomoniasis Curable Vaginal itching, often severe. Heavy vaginal green/yellow discharge with strong odor. Frequently none. Occasionally a discharge from the penis. Partners may frequently pass a disease back and forth leading to repeat infections. Curable but both partners must be treated.
Syphilis
Curable
A sore usually painless. Later rash may develop on other parts of the body (usually hands and feet). There may also be sore throat, fever, swollen glands. Symptoms may then disappear but person is still infected. Heart, spine, and brain may be affected.  Severe threat to the developing fetus. Symptoms begin anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months after sex. Detected by a blood test and cured with antibiotics.
Hepatitis B Treatable, not curable Symptoms vary a lot. Some have no symptoms. Others experience loss of appetite, fever, tiredness, pain in liver area, jaundice (yellowing of skin.) Major cause of liver cancer. May cause death. Can be passed to newborns by mother. Symptoms begin1 to 9 months after infection. A vaccine is available to prevent Hepatitis B.
HIV/AIDS Treatable, not curable For both sexes, early symptoms may be recurring fever, night sweating, shortness of breath, dry cough, constant tiredness, diarrhea, rapid weight loss, swollen glands or increase in severity or number of illnesses- or no symptoms at all. No cure has been found. AIDS has been fatal in about 50% of the cases Symptoms show up months to years after infection. HIV is a virus that can be transferred through blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk.
HPV / Genital Warts
Treatable, not curable
Virus that is linked to cervical cancer. Some strains may cause warts found on or around genitals or rectum. A clinician must treat them. Passed by skin-to-skin contact, so condoms will not be as effective.

Vaccine is available to both men and women to prevent the acquisition of the disease, and decrease the spread. For information, check with your healthcare provider.
Warts can grow large and obstruct penis, vagina or anus. Symptoms usually show up one to eight months after infection. Sexually active females should receive annual pap smears to test for cervical cancer.
Genital Herpes Treatable, not curable One or more blister-like sores, in, on or around the genitals. Sore may look like a rash or cut and are often painful. Symptoms go away. Passed by skin-to-skin contact, so condoms will not be as effective. Can cause severe damage to infants of mothers with active infections at the time of delivery. Symptoms show up 1 to 30 days after sex or longer. Can be spread when there are no symptoms. Repeated flare-ups may occur after the first infection.