Imagine this: You wake up with the usual Sunday morning
hangover, except this time, you find a stranger taking up half your
bed. Though a common occurrence in college, few of us know what to
do the morning after. Once you get the name of the person lying
next to you, you should consider making an appointment to get
tested for sexually transmitted diseases at the University Health
Service.

Weekend Magazine
UHS provides a plethora of free condoms to all students (Laura Shlecter/Daily).

According to people in the medical profession, all sexually
active people, whether monogamous or not, should consider getting
tested, especially if they notice anything abnormal. Symptoms might
include pain or discomfort, unusual discharge or rashes.

On average, one in five college students has or has had an STD
and getting tested is an easy method to find out if you are at
risk. “I had been sexually active and had never been
tested,” said a male LSA sophomore who asked to remain
anonymous.

UHS offers free STD testing and counseling to all students on an
anonymous basis. These tests are quick, simple and effective.

“The test is so easy and like a routine exam that you
shouldn’t be scared. It’s way better to know than to be
too scared to get the test done,” remarked a female LSA
freshman.

Testing varies according to your gender. “They took a
blood sample and a urine sample. Nothing intrusive, as I have heard
the test used to be,” commented the male student. For men,
either a urine or blood sample is satisfactory, and for women, a
cervical culture is taken. While many consider these tests
painless, some may experience slight discomfort.

Results can be obtained over the phone or in person within two
to three business days following the initial appointment.

Robert Ernst, physician and associate director of UHS, maintains
that getting tested is important because UHS offers many treatments
for those who do have STDs. Chlamydia and gonorrhea are the two
most prevalent bacterial STDs, while herpes is the most common
viral infection on campus. Treatments for chlamydia and gonorrhea
consist of a simple week long course of antibiotic pills. Treatment
of herpes, another common STD, includes intermittent treatments to
lessen the severity, duration and occurrence of outbreaks.

UHS testing is completely confidential and free. The doctors and
staff handle themselves in a professional manner and
“encouraged me to ask questions and feel comfortable about
the whole procedure,” said the male student.

“I think it is extremely important to get tested for STDs.
If you’ve never been tested, go right now. It takes so little
time and is of so much importance,” he said. “I believe
people should get tested before becoming sexually active with a new
partner or anytime they would like to reassure themselves that they
are in good sexual health.”

Although condoms cannot protect against all STDs, they may be
obtained for free at UHS along with brochures about safer sex. UHS
is located at 207 Fletcher St., behind the Dental School and across
the street from the Michigan League.

To make an appointment call 764-8320 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Monday through Friday and between 9 a.m. and noon on Saturdays.
Walk-ins are also available during these times. For more
information, visit the UHS website at
“mailto:www.uhs.umich.edu”>www.uhs.umich.edu or call the STD
hotline at (800) 342-2437.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *