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If you are worried about a symptom or have been exposed to someone diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) you can make an appointment or utilize our walk-in hours any time. Screening can be important for anyone who is sexually active and Health Services provides routine STI testing. STI testing is also a regular part of gynecologic appointments.

Which test you get depends on your exposures and sexual practices. A Health Service clinician will discuss your sexual history with you as well as symptoms of various STIs. We can test for almost any STI. Some are blood tests, some are urine tests, and some are done through swabbing.

Risk of exposures

A person’s risk of exposure to an STI depends on a number of factors including: type of STI, type of sexual contact, whether a barrier method was used or if there are any active symptoms.  In some cases, depending on the STI, transmission can happen when there are no obvious symptoms. When you come in for STI testing (either with or without symptoms), your clinician will likely ask you questions about recent sexual history to help determine which tests should be done. Don't be afraid to ask the clinician for clarification of any questions they might ask you. 

Cost/Insurance Fees

These vary depending on the test. Tufts student health insurance and many private insurance policies cover STI testing. Health Services can work with you to see if any charges can be billed to your insurance company. 

 

For STI Testing at Health Service

 

STIs tested for at Health Service

Type

Herpes

Syphilis

Gonorrhea

Chlamydia

UTI

HIV

Viral or Bacterial Infection?

Viral Infection

Bacterial Infection

Bacterial Infection

Bacterial infection

Bacterial infection

Viral infection

Treatable?

Treatable

Treatable

Treatable

Treatable

Treatable

 

Treatable

Curable?

No

Yes but can lead to long term complications if left untreated

 

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

How is it transmitted?

Direct skin to skin contact

Oral/anal/

vaginal sex and contact with sores

Sexual contact with bodily fluids like semen, saliva, vaginal secretions or with mucus membranes like anus, mouth, vagina

Sexual contact with bodily fluids like semen, saliva, vaginal secretions or with mucus membranes like anus, mouth, vagina

Bacteria enters the urethra (the tube from your bladder to the outside of your body). Can be caused by sex activity but can have other causes as well

 

Specific types of contact (ex. open mucus membrane) with certain bodily fluids (blood, semen/pre-cum, rectal fluids, vaginal fluids and breast milk) from someone who has HIV

Symptoms

 

Painful sores, usually near mouth, vagina, penis or anus

Symptoms can vary

Abnormal penile or vaginal discharge BUT can also be asymptomatic

Usually asymptomatic; but can have abnormal penile or vaginal discharge

 

Painful urination, increased urinary frequency, blood in urine

Symptoms can vary; usually asymptomatic but flu-like symptoms can sometimes present within the first few weeks after exposure

Test type?

Via swab or blood test

Via swab or blood test

Via swab or urine collection

Via swab or urine collection

 

Via urine collection

Via blood test

Testing available at Tufts Health Services

Yes/No, sample collected at Health Services. Samples sent to Quest Diagnostics for testing. Results returned to Health Services

Yes /No, sample collected at Health Services. Samples sent to Quest Diagnostics for testing. Results returned to Health Services. Follow up tests needed and available

Yes/No, sample collected at Health Services. Samples sent to Quest Diagnostics for testing. Results returned to Health Services

Yes/No, sample collected at Health Services. Samples sent to Quest Diagnostics for testing. Results returned to Health Services

Yes/No, sample collected at Health Services. Samples sent to Quest Diagnostics for testing. Results returned to Health Services

Yes/No, sample collected at Health Services. Samples sent to Quest Diagnostics for testing. Results returned to Health Services

Covered By Tufts Student Health Insurance?

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

When do I get my results?

5-7 days

3-5 days

2-3 days

2-3 days

Same day - 3 days, depending on tests

1-2 days

What shows up on the paperwork/

bills?

Quest Diagnostics shows up either as a coded entry OR a detailed explanation of benefit

Quest Diagnostics shows up either as a coded entry OR a detailed explanation of benefit

Quest Diagnostics shows up either as a coded entry OR a detailed explanation of benefit

Quest Diagnostics shows up either as a coded entry OR a detailed explanation of benefit

Quest Diagnostics shows up either as a coded entry OR a detailed explanation of benefit

Quest Diagnostics shows up either as a coded entry OR a detailed explanation of benefit

Can I continue to be sexual active during treatment?

Not during initial treatment and with increased protection recommended afterwards

Not during initial treatment and with increased protection recommended afterwards

Not recommended

Not recommended

Not recommended

Yes, with increased protection and on-going management

How long does treatment take?

Initial treatment timeline varies, usually 3-10 days. No sexual activity until after treatment AND after sores have healed. May need episodic treatment after initial treatment.

Without complications, initial treatment is one shot followed by no sexual activity for 14 days AND after sores have healed

On average, from 1st day of treatment, no sex for 7 days

On average, from 1st day of treatment, no sex for 7 days

On average, from 1st day of treatment, no sex for 7 days

Treatment varies and is usually monitored lifelong