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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 healthcare 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.

Free Condoms

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.

The HPV vaccine (Gardasil-9) protects against some of the most common types of HPV and can decrease the chance of developing genital warts and cervical cancer. The vaccine is administered in three shots over six months. It is important to get all three doses on time to get the best protection, but students do not need to restart the series if they are late for an injection. The vaccines are most effective when given before a person's first sexual contact (when the person could be exposed to HPV) but are indicated until age 45 in most people. Visit myUHS (link needed) to schedule an injection appointment.

Fees: Students should contact their insurance provider prior to their appointment to determine coverage. Students may elect to pay the charges at the time of the visit or have the charges added to their student accounts.

STI Testing and Resources

If you have concerns about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), we can help you in a professional and non-judgmental manner. If you are sexually active (oral, vaginal, or anal sex), consider routine STI screenings. Many STIs do not cause symptoms, especially in women. You can have an STI screening as part of your annual exam or make an appointment with any of the testing sites below. 

On-Campus Testing Options

University Health Services (UHS)

Health Promotion & Wellness (HPW)

  • Wellness Services on healthy relationships & sexual health
  • External and internal condoms, dental dams, lubricant, and condom carrier cases

Below are more details on the testing process:

What tests are available?

There is no single test for every STI. We can provide confidential testing for the following:

  • Chlamydia/Gonorrhea (self-testing available)- $42 (if not billed to insurance)*
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) 
  • Syphilis
  • Trichomoniasis

If your visit includes an appointment with a clinician, a separate appointment fee will be charged. Fees vary depending on the nature of your visit, what tests are performed, and your insurance coverage. Syphilis and Chlamydia/Gonorrhea may be available at no additional cost from the Student Initiated Fee. 

*In order to protect students' privacy, you have the option of using the prompt pay discount, which means that the payment doesn't go to insurance. To take advantage of the prompt pay discount, students can send the bill to their Bursar account or pay within 7 days, otherwise, the cost will be $60.

STI Self-Testing (chlamydia/gonorrhea)
  • Schedule your test by appointment only via myUHS.
  • Chlamydia and gonorrhea only.
  • Check-in for your lab appointment at the main UHS check-in area and then proceed upstairs to the fourth-floor lab.  
  • Do not urinate at least one hour prior to testing.
  • It can take up to one week after exposure for tests to accurately detect chlamydia and gonorrhea. If your last sexual contact was recent, please wait one week before testing.
  • If your test result is positive, you may need to schedule an appointment with a clinician to receive treatment
  • Wait at least one month after completing treatment for chlamydia or gonorrhea before you are re-tested. Testing too soon may result in a false-positive result. 

Currently, University Health Services offers only vaginal and urine gonorrhea and chlamydia self-collection tests due to lab equipment certification. UHS understands that it would be desirable for patients to have a self-collection option with regard to other anatomical sites and is working to provide more inclusive self-testing options in the future.

HIV Testing

Testing for HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections is available through University Health Services. Please note that standard lab and medical exam fees apply. Contact UHS to learn more, or schedule an appointment through myUHS.

Students at Penn State Commonwealth Campuses should contact their campus health center or local community resources for information about testing in their area.

Free HIV testing through Health Promotion and Wellness is currently not available. Check back for updates. 

When to schedule an appointment

Schedule an appointment for STI testing with University Health Services if you have any symptoms, have been exposed to someone diagnosed with an STI, have concerns about anal or oral exposure, or are unsure of which test(s) you need. 

Depending on what tests are performed, testing procedures may involve collecting a urine sample; throat, cervical, vaginal, or rectal swabs; and/or blood work. Do not urinate at least one hour prior to appointment.

Paying for my appointments or tests

Students can pay at the time of service or we can bill your student account (charges will not list specific reasons for the visit). If you have health insurance, we can also bill your insurance. Many lab tests, including tests for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis, are funded by the Student Initiated Fee, meaning there is no additional cost for University Park students and health insurance is not billed.

Be aware that private insurance companies sometimes notify the subscriber (often parents) as to what tests are done for covered individuals. Therefore, the subscriber may get a notice from the private insurance company that "student X had a chlamydia test done on date X," though results are generally not reported. If you are concerned, it is a good idea to contact your insurance company before you get tested and inquire about their billing policies. Paying at the time of service avoids using your private insurance altogether.

Results

Results are typically available within 1-3 business days. You will receive a secure message to your myUHS account with the results, or a clinical staff member may call you to review results.

Off-Campus Resources

AIDS Resource Center

  • Free HIV testing (oral swab) and HIV+ support; Rapid testing (25 minutes) with finger stick test
  • Appointments preferred
  • Phone: 814-272-0818 Ext. 3
  • Address: 129 South Sparks St. Suite #1, State College PA 16801

Department of Health (HIV Testing) 

  • Phone: 814-865-0932 

Additional information about HIV/AIDS is available on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

 

Our events and programs are open to all students regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, or any other protected class. Student Affairs is committed to building a community of belonging for all.