Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

A person can get an STI when they engage in unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex or by contact with an infected sore or ulcer on someone’s body. Condoms can reduce your risk of contracting STIs when used correctly for each sexual encounter, but they do not provide 100% protection.

Student Health Services provides confidential counseling for Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) prevention and risk reduction. Student Health offers STI screening, diagnosis and treatment and immunizations for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and HPV (Gardasil) for a fee.

Students can get the OraQuick HIV test for free at Student Health Services. Call to schedule your appointment. An oral gum swab is taken and the specimen is tested.

Mason RAs and RSOs can submit the online Safer Sex Condom Request Form to request male/external condoms, dental dams, and lubrication for building residents or event attendees.

Signs and Symptoms

Some STIs cause no symptoms, and many people with STIs have no symptoms. Some common symptoms can include:

  • Unusual genital discharge
  • Burning or pain during urination or a bowel movement
  • Bumps, blisters, ulcers, or sores near the mouth or genitals
  • Flu-like symptoms, including fever, chills, and aches
  • Swelling in the groin area
  • Abdominal discomfort

If You Test Positive for an STI

Most STIs are treatable and many are curable. If either you or your partner is infected with an STI, you should start treatment and take precautions to avoid getting re-infected. An untreated infection can lead to serious health problems, even if you never have symptoms. Follow your healthcare provider’s treatment plan and recommendations.

Tell your partner(s) about having an STI. It may feel emotionally uncomfortable, but telling your partner allows them to protect their health, too. Tips for getting the conversation started are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Get Yourself Tested.

Prevention and Precautions

Since a person who has a STI may have no symptoms, Student Health Services and health officials recommend that if you are sexually active you should know your STI status.  Get regular check-ups and STI screenings with your healthcare provider. If you know you are infected you can take steps to protect yourself and your partners.

STIs can be prevented by practicing safer sex, by abstaining from sex, by learning about your partner’s sexual history, and by avoiding contact with abnormal bumps, ulcers or sores.

Common STIs

Select any STI and you will be taken to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website for more information about the STI, treatments, and prevention and precaution tips.

Additional Information

Centers for Disease Control

Mason Student Support and Advocacy Center

Planned Parenthood

Fairfax County Department of Health