What’s My Risk?
Young people, ages 15-24 that have multiple partners and unprotected sex, are at highest risk for sexually transmitted diseases (STD's). The following is designed to help you determine whether you may be at risk for contracting an infection through sexual contact. It is not designed to diagnosis STD’s. This can help you decide if you would like more information, or if you need a medical check-up.
Have you had sexual contact (mouth to genital or genital to genital)?
If NO, then you are not at risk for STD's.
If YES, consider the following in the future.
Yes No Don't know
If you answered YES to both of these questions, meaning that it was your partner's and your very first time, then you are at low risk for infection. If your partner has Herpes Simplex Virus type I on their mouth, they can pass this to your mouth or genitals. Many people are infected with HSV I, and usually get it during childhood from non-sexual contact with other children or adults. HSV 1 is most contagious when an outbreak is present. Many people refer to HSV 1 as fever blisters. These blisters occur on the outside of the mouth/lips.
Remember, if someone says that it is their first time for "intercourse" or "sex," they may have had oral or anal sex in the past, and do not consider those behaviors as "sex." Ask specific questions of your partner about their behaviors. Having sex doesn't cause infection - one person has to have an infection already in order to transmit it to someone through sexual contact.
If NO to either of the questions, have you and your partner been tested for all sexually transmissible diseases?
Never Sometimes About half the time Most of the time Always
If you have sexual contact with someone who has had sexual contact with anyone else, there is some risk of contracting an STD. (Even one time may be enough.) The level of risk can vary from low to high, depending on the behavior, the number of times, and whether condoms were used correctly and consistently. Common STDs include some that can be cured – Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis and some that can't be cured include - herpes, genital warts (HPV), and HIV/AIDS. Although HPV cannot be cured, most people’s immune system will clear the infection from their system.
Correct use of condoms, and latex barriers for oral stimulation, can greatly reduce the risk of STDs. Condoms and latex barriers are available to students at the McKinley Health Resource Centers located at McKinley Health Center, Main Lobby, Information/HRC counter and Illini Union, Room 40 (lower level). For additional information, contact McKinley Health Center's Health Education Unit at 333-2714.
To reduce your risk, limit your partners and always use condoms, even in a monogamous relationship.