The voice of and for USM students




STDs and You: Prevention and Treatment

Simeon Gates

STDs, also known as sexually transmitted infections, spread through sexual contact. This means oral, anal, and vaginal sex as well as mutual masturbation. They also spread through kissing. Some STDs, such as gonorrhea, are treatable. Others, such as herpes, are not.

Young people are especially vulnerable to STDs for several reasons. Young adults often have multiple sexual partners and lack knowledge of and access to proper healthcare resources. There is a heavy stigma around STIs that makes people afraid to get help. In general, people do not get tested very often, if at all.

Melanie Blanton is a nurse and Health Educator at Moffitt Health Center. She encourages students to reach out to Moffitt for information about sexual health.

“We have information here in our lobby, and then also we are available to come do presentations or talks, and we have tablings all the time across campus, so definitely reach out to a health professional, health educator,” she said. “ If you do go to Google, make sure you’re at a reputable site.”

The Moffitt Health Center’s website lists some important tips students can follow. There are only two ways to protect yourself from all STDs completely. The first is to remain abstinent. The second is to only have monogamous sexual relationships.

Regardless of what (or who) you do, always use a form of barrier protection such as a condom. Never have sex while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Most STDs are asymptomatic, so the only way to be sure is to get tested. Young women, who are biologically more vulnerable to STDs, should test at least once a year. Be on the lookout for symptoms such as unusual discharge, bumps on the genitalia, mouth, or anus, and fever.

Lastly, talk with any partner(s) and a doctor about sex and sexual health. Always inform any partners of an STD diagnosis.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a guide to finding STD testing locations. Moffitt offers STD testing and HPV vaccines in addition to information on sexual health.

Leave a Comment
Donate to SM2

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Southern Mississipi. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to SM2

Comments (0)

All Southern Miss Student Media Center Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *