Sexually Transmitted Infections

One in four college students has a sexually transmitted infection (STI) - this may be higher than you expected. STIs are infections transmitted by intimate sexual contact. Moreover, 80% of individuals with an STI experience no noticeable symptoms, so you or your partner could be transmitting an infection without even knowing it! Although treatment is available for all STIs, not all are curable. General signs of STI's include: sores/blisters, rash, penile or vaginal discharge, painful urination, abdominal pain, or even none at all. The following webpages were designed to provide basic information on the most common and serious STIs. There is also a listing of where to get tested for STIs in the Lexington area, safer sex practices, and other resources.

This STI information was developed by Bio 255 Reproductive Physiology Class, Fall 2010


Chlamydia is the most common STI on college campuses, in the USA, and worldwide. It can be easily treated with antibiotics, but individuals are often unaware they have Chlamydia due to lack of symptoms. Left untreated, Chlamydia can lead to long term and irreversible consequences such as infertility and ectopic pregnancies.

Genital Herpes

Two forms of the herpes simplex virus can be contracted: HSV 1 and HSV 2. Both forms are highly contagious and are usually transmitted by oral and/or genital contact. In the U.S., 50-80% of adults have oral herpes and approximately 1 in 5 have genital herpes. Herpes is a chronic medical condition which can be managed with prescription medication.


Gonorrhea, also known as the "clap" or "drip," is one of the most common STIs in the United States. Approximately 75% of all reported cases of gonorrhea are found in people who are 15 to 29 years of age.


An estimated 33 million people globally live with HIV. Today, about 950,000 people, or 1 in 170 adults in the United States is HIV positive. Nearly one-third of these people are unaware of their HIV status. It is believed that if prevention does not work and a cure is not found, about one billion people in the world will be infected with HIV by 2025.

HPV/Genital Warts

HPV is a common virus. Several strains of HPV can be sexually transmitted and cause genital warts or cervical cancer. Gardasil, a vaccine for HPV, is available for both women and men at the W&L Student Health Center.


Syphilis is a highly infectious sexually transmitted infection. Rates of syphilis in the United States have been rising since 2000. On average 34,000 new cases are diagnosed in the United States each year.


Facts and information about treatment, diagnosis, symptoms, and prevention of Trichomoniasis, a parasitic STI.