Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) & Testing

Understanding STIs and testing can help you make better decisions about safer sex.  Using safer sex supplies during sexual encounters can dramatically reduce the risk of STI transmission!

Be in-the-know. There are two types of STIs: bacterial and viral.

  • Bacterial infections: These infections are caused by bacteria and are relatively easy to cure if detected early and treated properly.  Examples include chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.  Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be detected with a urine sample, and syphilis is detected using a blood sample.  Your clinician can also perform an exam of physical symptoms if present.
  • Viral infections: These infections are caused by a virus and remain in the body for life, but treatments are available to alleviate symptoms and reduce transmission. Examples include HPV (a virus causing genital warts, and for which a series of vaccines is available), hepatitis B, herpes simplex type 1 and 2, and HIV.  Some viral infections can be diagnosed during an exam of physical symptoms if present, while others are diagnosed using a blood sample.

STI testing for all students at Yale

  • Anyone who suspects that he or she might have the symptoms of an STI, or anyone who engages in any form of sexual activity even if you do not have any symptoms, should consider seeing a clinician for STI and HIV testing. STIs are detected by blood, urine or culture tests. Many STIs do not present symptoms, however, if you notice any STI symptoms, you should see your clinician immediately.

  • STI tests are free to all Yale students, even those who have waived the Yale Health Hospitalization/Specialty Care Coverage. To schedule an appointment, call Student Health at 203-432-0312 or Ob/Gyn at 203-432-0222.

  • Student Wellness and Student Health host an STI Testing Party every semester Students can come to the event for free comprehensive testing during this time without making an appointment and will be offered food, music, games while you wait and Q&A sessions with (s)experts.  The next STI Testing Party will be on 4/6. Click here for more details and to RSVP. Please contact the Health Educator with any questions.

For even more information on STIs and testing, check out the Get Yourself Tested campaign website or contact the Health Educator.