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Know your status?

The "Know your status?" program is about taking control of your sexual life by knowing your status when it comes to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STI). Testing for HIV and STI is available at Student Health & Wellness for a cost. There are also communtiy resources in Kansas City that provide FREE testing. If you choose to be seuxally active, knowing your sexual health status, using protection and open communication with your partner(s) are important tools to prevent you from becoming infected with HIV or other STI. They are also important in the event that you do test positive so that you may get treatment and be able to inform your partner(s) so that they may also be tested and treated as needed.

Rapid HIV Test

  • A rapid test is confidential. Test results are available in 20 minutes. A non reactive (negative) result ends the test. When the result is reactive (preliminary positive), a confirmatory blood test is done and a follow up appointment is made.


  • Source: Kansas City Free Health Clinic

Safer Sex

  • Safer sex does not have to mean eliminating sexual passion and intimacy from your life. Safer sex means reducing the chance of acquiring an STI.
  • Correct and consistent use of barriers, i.e. condoms, dental dams
  • Use of additional lubrication
  • Honest and open communication with your partner(s)
  • Get tested for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI), including HIV.

Abstinence - Postponement

  • Abstinence is refraining from vaginal, oral, and anal intercourse until a person is in a committed relationship/partnership/marriage.
  • Postponement is refraining from vaginal, oral, and anal intercourse until a time when a person is sober, dating, or in a committed relationship/partnership/marriage.
  • People have differing definitions of what abstinence/postponement means for them. They also may define sexual activity differently. Depending on how individuals define these terms will determine the level of risk they may put themselves in for unplanned pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections.
  • Choosing abstinance/postponement does not mean that you will never have sex. It just means that you are committed to waiting until a time that is right for you.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

  • The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS).
  • HIV can be transmitted from person to person through sexual contact; the sharing of HIV contaminated needles and syringes; transfusion of infected blood or its components (rare); and the transplant of HIV infected tissue or organs (rare).
  • HIV is only found in four body fluids: blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk.
  • The primary cause of sexual transmission of HIV is sexual risk behaviors such as having unprotected intercourse (vaginal, anal, oral).
  • The time from infection to the development of detectable antibodies is generally 1-3 months; the time from HIV infection to diagnosis of AIDS varies from 1 - 15 years or longer. Early detection of HIV is critical in order to link the individual with case management and treatment.
  • The most effective prevention is to abstain from sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal, oral).
  • If you choose to be sexually active, the correct and consistent use of condoms during intercourse (vaginal, anal, oral) will reduce the risk of sexual transmission.
  • There is no cure for HIV infection.


  • Fact Sheet: HIV/AIDS

    Source: Chin, James MD, MPH (Editor). Control of Communicable Diseases Manual 17th Edition. Washington, D.C.: American Public Health Association (2000)

Chlamydia

  • Chlamydia is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection of the genitals. Up to 25% of men and up to 70% of women may not display signs or symptoms of infection.
  • In homosexual men, receptive anal intercourse may result in Chlamydia proctitis (inflammation of the rectum).
  • The primary cause of transmission of Chlamydia is sexual risk behaviors such as having unprotected intercourse (vaginal, anal, oral).
  • The incubation period is 7-14 days or longer.
  • The most effective prevention is to abstain from sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal, oral).
  • If you choose to be sexually active, the correct and consistent use of condoms during intercourse (vaginal, anal, oral) will reduce the risk of sexual transmission.
  • A simple urine test can detect infection.
  • If a positive test results, it is important to inform your partner to get tested and treated.
  • Chlamydia may be treated with an antibiotic.


  • Fact Sheet: Chlamydia

    Source: Chin, James MD, MPH (Editor). Control of Communicable Diseases Manual 17th Edition. Washington, D.C.: American Public Health Association (2000)

Gonorrhea

  • Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection. In males, a discharge from the urethra will occur approximately 2 - 7 days after infection. In females, abnormal vaginal discharge and vaginal bleeding after intercourse after infection.
  • In females and homosexual males, pharyngeal (throat) and anal infections are common and usually asymptomatic, but may cause itching, painful straining at stool or in urinating, and discharge.
  • The primary cause of transmission of Gonorrhea is sexual risk behaviors such as having unprotected intercourse (vaginal, anal, oral).
  • The incubation period is 2 - 7 days or longer when symptoms occur.
  • The most effective prevention is to abstain from sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal, oral).
  • If you choose to be sexually active, the correct and consistent use of condoms during intercourse (vaginal, anal, oral) will reduce the risk of sexual transmission.
  • A simple urine test can detect infection.
  • If a person has had oral or anal sex and is symptomatic for Chlamydia/Gonorrhea in the throat or rectum, a swab test is performed. If the test comes back with a positive result the person will be treated. If someone has Chlamydia/Gonorrhea in the throat or rectum, either symptomatically or asymptomatically, and they do not seek treatment, it is not a concern because the risk of complication that is true for genital infection is not true of oral or rectal infection. Of course, the orally or rectally infected person could still spread Chlamydia/Gonorrhea if they performed oral sex or are the receptive partner during anal sex.*
  • If a positive test results, it is important to inform your partner to get tested and treated.
  • Gonorrhea may be treated with an antibiotic.


  • Fact Sheet: Gonorrhea

    Source: Chin, James MD, MPH (Editor). Control of Communicable Diseases Manual 17th Edition. Washington, D.C.: American Public Health Association (2000)

    *Source: Janna Haston, RN, HIV Primary Care Nurse, Kansas City Free Health Clinic

Syphilis

  • Syphilis is an acute and, if untreated, chronic disease characterized by a primary lesion (chancre) that appears at the site of infection about three weeks after exposure. The chancre is painless and may occur in the rectum or on the cervix. A secondary eruption occurs after about 4-6 weeks that involves mild symptoms such as a rash on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. After several weeks or months the secondary eruptions will spontaneously resolve and the disease moves into a latent stage for weeks or years. If Syphilis continues to be untreated many complications will result that in some cases may result in disability or death.
  • The primary cause of transmission of Syphilis is by direct contact with infectious fluids from obvious or concealed, moist, early lesions (chancre) of skin and mucous membranes of infected people during sexual contact.
  • The incubation period is from 10 days to 3 months, usually 3 weeks.
  • The most effective prevention is to abstain from sexual intercourse (vaginal, anal, oral).
  • If you choose to be sexually active, the correct and consistent use of condoms during intercourse (vaginal, anal, oral) will reduce the risk of sexual transmission.
  • A blood test can detect infection.
  • If a positive test results, it is important to inform your partner to get tested and treated.
  • Syphilis may be treated with an antibiotic.


  • Fact Sheet: Syphilis

    Source: Chin, James MD, MPH (Editor). Control of Communicable Diseases Manual 17th Edition. Washington, D.C.: American Public Health Association (2000)