Sexual Health: Talk. Test. Protect.
Sexual Health Resources at Penn State
Sexual health is a broad concept that varies among cultures, subcultures, and individuals within those groups.
Student Affairs strives to provide quality, compassionate resources to students as they navigate their personal health, sexual identity, gender identity, and sexual behavior. We encourage students to speak openly to our health care providers and other professional staff about their sexual health concerns. Respect for diversity is expected by all Penn State community members.
We hope to provide an accessible, safe, and comfortable environment for you to learn and ask questions regarding sexual health. We hope that this information will influence your health behavior in a positive way.
When used consistently and correctly, latex condoms and dental dams are highly effective in preventing sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS.
During the fall and spring semesters, students can pick up free sexual health supplies from Health Promotion and Wellness in the following locations.
- Information Table #8 in the HUB-Robeson Center on Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
- 20 IM Building (The Wellness Suite) on Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
During the summer months (May through August), students can pick up supplies in 20 IM Building (The Wellness Suite) on Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Vaccine
Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the U.S. and is most prevalent in the late teens and early twenties.
Vaccines can protect against some of the most common types of HPV. These vaccines are given in three shots. It is important to get all three doses to get the best protection. The vaccines are most effective when given before a person's first sexual contact when the person could be exposed to HPV.
Many people refer to HPV as genital warts, but HPV includes over 100 viruses. One-third of these viruses cause genital problems that affect both sexes, such as genital warts on the penis, vagina, or cervix. In a small number of women/women at birth, cell changes in the cervix may be precancerous. Genital warts can appear as small hard spots or have a fleshy cauliflower appearance, but in other cases, warts are not visible to the naked eye.
Gardasil is given in a series of 3 injections, with dose 2 given 2 months after the first dose, and dose 3 given 6 months after the first dose. Gardasil has been shown to protect against most types of HPV that cause the majority of cervical cancer and genital warts. The most common side effects of the vaccine are pain, swelling, itching, and redness at the injection site, and fever.
Individuals who are allergic to any ingredient in the vaccine or who have an allergic reaction after the first dose should not receive the vaccine. As with all vaccines, the HPV vaccine may not protect everyone who gets it and will not protect against types of HPV that are not contained in the vaccine.
Fees: Students should contact their insurance provider prior to their appointment to determine if they will cover all or part of the cost. Three injections are needed. Students may elect to pay the charges at the time of the visit or have the charges added to their student accounts.