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STI Prevention

How can I prevent getting an STI?

  • Abstinence (not having intimate sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, or oral sex) is the one way to prevent getting an STI.
  • For sexually active people, the way to reduce the risk of infection is to have sex with one partner and use a latex condom every time you have sex after getting appropriate testing for STIs.
  • Condom use is even more important for people who have sex with multiple partners or those involved in high-risk sexual behaviors. Latex condoms can help protect against HIV/AIDS and other STIs, but they don't provide total protection.

If I am taking birth control pills, can I still get an STI?

  • YES! Birth control pills reduce your chances of getting pregnant but do not provide protection against STIs.
  • People who take birth control pills or use hormonal injections, patches, implants, or rings to prevent pregnancy should also use latex condoms to reduce the risk of STIs.

What should I do if I think I might have an STI?

  • If you think you have been exposed to an STI, you should go to M.S. Shook Student Health Service, clinic or health care provider as soon as possible to be tested and treated.
  • M.S. Shook Student Health Service offers one (1) free gonorrhea and chlamydia test once per academic year for all students. An appointment is required unless you have symptoms.
  • Health departments, which are located in every county, can also diagnose and treat STIs. They also provide confidential information and will help answer any questions you have about STIs.
  • You can ALSO locate a Family Planning clinic, which offers testing: National Family Planning Program (opens in a new tab).

Source: U.S. Department of Human Resources: Office of Public Health and Science (opens in a new tab)

Page content reviewed: 06/04/18 fwg