Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are caused by sexually transmitted infections (STIs). They are passed from one person to another during sexual or intimate contact. More than half of all of us will get a sexually transmitted infection at some time in our lives. 1 in 3 sexually active people under the age of 25 has an STI.

Sexually transmitted infections may or may not cause symptoms. Medically, an infection is called a disease only when it is causing symptoms. But it’s very common for people to use the terms "sexually transmitted diseases" or "STDs," whether or not symptoms are present.

Reading about the different kinds of STIs can be helpful, whether you may have an STI or are just curious about STIs. Follow the link above to find out about each kind of STI.

Most of us want to protect ourselves and each other from STIs. Practicing safer sex allows us to reduce our risk of sexually transmitted infections. And if we’ve done anything that puts us at risk of infection, getting tested allows us to get any treatments we may need.

Self-Directed STI Testing at the Health Center Lab:

Students (free with UCSHIP, fees vary with no UCSHIP) can access self-directed swab testing (anal & vaginal swab testing) for Chlamydia and Gonhorrea. No need to see a clinician first! Click here for STI Directed Lab Form

Go to the Student Health Center Lab during their open drop-in hours and you can get a urine, blood and/or swab testing in a private bathroom. It's important to regularly do swab testing of the correct body parts that have had unprotected oral, vaginal and anal sex.

For STI Testing Hours, see the Student Health Center Hours Page.


Any UCSC student with concerns about STI symptoms can be seen by a triage nurse in the Student Health Center regardless of insurance status.

When to test





See Also