Testing for sexually transmitted infections (STI's), more commonly referred to as sexually transmitted diseases, is a common request for the Health Center. Some students desire testing because of symptoms, some because of potential exposure to infected partners, and some because of a sense of responsibility to prevent transmission of an unknown infection to a future partner. Regardless of the reason, the Health Center tries to make testing as easy and painless as possible.
There is a handling fee of $15 charged on each occasion that laboratory testing is done. That fee is in addition to the fees listed below. If more than one test is done at a time, only one fee of $15 is charged for handling all the specimens. There is an exception for testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. There is no handling fee for testing for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea.
Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are the 2 infections for which testing is most commonly requested. They are curable with common antibiotics. Testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea can be done by collecting a urine specimen or by inserting a special swab into the cervix or penis. If a urine specimen is collected it must be obtained at least 1 hour after the last time the bladder was emptied. The cost of testing is $25, and results are typically available within 2 business days.
Syphilis is also curable with antibiotics but is uncommonly seen. Testing for syphilis is with a blood test. The cost is $7.
Herpes infections are most often not known by the infected person, and affect 1 in 6 Americans. It is treatable but not curable. Testing for herpes may be done with a blood test or a culture. The blood test for type I/II is $65. The culture plus typing is $49 and is only performed when a patient is having symptoms.
HPV is very common in sexually active young adults, and is treatable. HPV is diagnosed on the basis of exam and clinical assessment, sometimes along with laboratory testing. Current HPV testing is able to be performed only with a pap smear. Testing for HPV requires a visit with a doctor or nurse practitioner.
HIV is not common but it is serious. It is treatable but not curable. The Centers for Disease Control currently recommend that all Americans be tested for HIV annually. Testing for HIV/AIDS is with a blood test. The cost is $33.
Students will need to see a doctor or nurse practitioner for these tests, unless the nurse identifies that this is for screening purposes only.
Additional sources of information include the CDC.