STI Testing Information
Salisbury University Health Services offers STI screening to its students at a cost of $20. Results of the STI testing are handled with the utmost confidentiality, and not shared with others without the student’s permission. Allow 30 minutes for an appointment if you are not having any symptoms, and 60 minutes if you are having symptoms such as discharge (vaginal or penile), painful urination, and/or pelvic pain. Most asymptomatic screening tests are done on a urine sample. Do not urinate for a least an hour before your visit, or the test will not be accurate. The urine test screens for the two most common bacterial STIs in the United States, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. The urine sample is sent to the state lab and typically take two weeks to process. No health insurance information is needed. If an examination is warranted, the Nurse Practitioner will examine for visual clues of STIs such as crabs, herpes and warts. If lesions such as blisters suggesting possibility of herpes are observed, the practitioner may elect to send a herpes culture. Viral cultures typically take 2-3 weeks to process. Results will be given to the student by way of a confidential secure message, accessed through the secure student health portal. If these STI results are negative, it is highly recommended that you have repeat STI testing in 3-6 months if you are concerned about a recent sexual exposure; early STI infections can be missed on first screening.
SHS offers HIV and Syphilis testing as well. Your provider will determine if you need this testing depending on your risk factors. If needed, the provider will schedule an appointment with the nurse to have your blood drawn. You must return in person to receive your results. This testing costs an additional $5. Results of the HIV/syphilis screen are given to the student in person during a follow-up appointment in about 2 weeks;
STI screening does not test for HPV. HPVs, or human papilloma viruses, is the set of viruses responsible for warts. Some HPVs cause common warts on the hands or plantar warts on the feet and are not considered sexually transmitted. Some HPV strains cause genital warts in both sexes. Some strains prefer areas of mucus membranes such as the vagina; others prefer the cervix. Some of these cervical HPVs have been linked to cervical cell changes and cancers in women. In men, HPV is usually a diagnosis of observation—that is, visual signs of a wart. In women, external or vaginal warts might also be visualized. Very often, those individuals who are infected with HPV have no visible signs of infection. It is estimated that 3 out of 4 sexually active adults in the US carries some HPV strain; most are unaware of this and suffer no adverse effects. It is crucial, however, for all women aged 21 or older or who are sexually active to get annual Pap smears to screen for microscopic cellular changes of the cervix. Pap smears are not part of the normal STI screen at SHS, but can be performed at the request of students aged 21 and older and costs $65 if the student wishes to self-pay for the test. The pap test may also be billed to your health insurance.
Barrier methods such as male or female latex condoms are your best protection against STIs, other than abstinence. However, condoms do not completely eliminate risk from STIs. Viruses can still be transferred from person to person despite regular, conscientious condom use. This is because skin to skin contact still occurs, allowing for transmission; also, viruses are smaller than bacteria and therefore may be able to pass through latex condoms. The HPV vaccine is recommended for all men and women. It is usually administered at the age of 11, but can be given up to the age of 26.
I Want the Kit
For students that want additional privacy, there is a kit that can be ordered, and the sample is collected in the privacy of your home. The kit will test for chlamydia, gonorrhea, and trichomonas. The cost is currently $3.50 to mail the sample to Johns Hopkins. If the results are positive, SHS providers will prescribe the appropriate medication. Visit I Want The Kit Website for more information.