Sexually Transmitted Infections
Information and education regarding sexually transmitted infections (STI)
is available at College Health Services and in brochures that have been placed across the campus. Testing and
referrals are also available at the office, and all treatment performed
by the Health Service staff is confidential.
Rensselaer County Health Department provides an STI clinic. A sexual
health clinic is also offered at the college each week classes are in
session. For more information, contact College Health Services at (518)
629-7468 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To assess your risk for contracting a sexually transmitted infection go
the the link http://www.vh.org/Patients/IHB/ObGyn/STDRiskAssess.html.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED INFECTIONS
Sexually transmitted infections, as the name implies, are transmitted
between sexual partners, not through the common use of doorknobs or toilet
Thousands of college students contract an STI each year. While both men
and women can be left sterile from an STI, it is more likely to happen
to women. It is important to note that an STI can be transmitted between
partners during any type of sexual activity involving body-to-body contact.
For example, genital herpes can be contracted during oral sex if one partner
has a cold sore. It is also important to note that the odds of contracting
an STI can be greatly reduced by using barrier protection such as condoms.
A health care provider must make diagnosis. Most STIs can be successfully
treated with antibiotics. A brief description of common STIs appears below:
Gonorrhea (also known as "Clap" or "Drips")
Caused by bacteria, gonorrhea effects men and women differently. Symptoms
experienced by men include frequent and painful urination, a greenish-yellow
discharge from the penis, and swelling and redness of the tip of the penis.
Some women may experience no symptoms. If symptoms are present though,
they include painful urination, vaginal discharge and abdominal pain.
Untreated gonorrhea in women, even if they have experienced no previous
symptoms, can cause pelvic inflammatory disease and sterility.
Lack of treatment in both men and women can lead to arthritis and heart
Syphilis (also known as "Lues")
Syphilis, caused by bacteria, develops in stages. The first stage can
be difficult to recognize; it consists of a painless sore on the area
where the bacteria entered the body, generally on the sex organs or the
mouth. Since the sores are painless and may occur inside the vagina or
on the cervix, women may not notice them.
Therefore, it is essential that males communicate with their partners
if they have been diagnosed with syphilis. Left untreated, sores eventually
disappear, but the causative agent stays in the body and will resurface
years later, causing heart disease and brain damage.
Chlamydia (also known as Non-Specific Urethritis)
Chlamydia is the STD most commonly found among college students. It often
causes an itchy, irritating, watery discharge or other minor symptoms
that disappear without treatment. Many times, more often in women than
men, there are no symptoms. But untreated chlamydia frequently causes
pelvic inflammatory disease and is the most common cause of sterility
in young women.
Caused by a virus, herpes is a life-changing disease that cannot be cured.
There are treatments that can keep the virus under control, but it remains
dormant in the body and reappears from time to time, usually as a response
to physical or emotional stress, causing symptoms.
Herpes usually begins with an itching or tingling. Blisters then develop.
As the blisters break, the infected area becomes very painful. It is believed
that a person with herpes can spread the disease to others even when sores
are not present. It is important that people with herpes inform their sexual
partners and take measures to prevent infecting someone else.
Condyloma (Genital Warts)
Genital warts are red, pink or brown tumor-like skin eruptions found on
the shaft of the penis, in and around the vagina, and on the rectum. They
are painless and are usually discovered by the infected individual or
his/her sexual partner.
Genital warts are caused by a virus and can be transmitted to various
parts of the body simply by improper hand washing. Some types of genital
warts are believed to be associated with cervical cancer in women.
Genital warts can be successfully removed, but the virus will continue
to live in the body and can be transmitted without the presence of warts.
For more information on STIs visit: