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STDs

Here, Ask EROS has anonymously published questions and answers from or "Ask EROS Program" and "Ask EROS-online." Asked by your fellow students, these questions were answered by our very own counselor(s).

» I may have gonorrhea, can I get treated at the SHC?
» I recently had unprotected oral sex...
» My husband cheated, now I have an STD...
» I think I might have gonorrhea, my ejaculate is different...
» It looks like a pimple...
» What is HPV?
» Which is riskier: oral sex on males or females?
» Do I need special tests for STDs?
» Can my boyfriend contract my yeast infection?
» If a sex partner has AIDS, or a sexually transmitted
  disease


Dear EROS, I have had a sexual confrontation with someone and I have the symptoms of gonorrhea I want to know If I can get tested at school at the Klotz Health Center or If I have to go somewhere to get tested and obtain medicine??? (I would appreciate it If I got a response ASAP)

Dear GJackson, Yes, we will test you at the Klotz Student Health Center and prescribe medicine for treatment

Dear EROS, I have recently engaged in both oral and anal sex. While my oral sex is not protected, when my partner penetrated me he had a condom on. I'm wondering, am I still at high risk of STD during unprotected oral sex?
And how damaging is anal sex to the body? I feel fine, but he did get a little rough. Signed, Just a little concerned

Dear Just a Little, We're glad you wrote in to ask and get clarification. We cannot give you a specific answer without knowing all the facts. Are you at risk for unprotected oral sex? Yes. Is it high risk? Well, that depends on a number
of factors, all of which have some bearing on this:

  • Did you go down on your partner? Or your partner on you?
  • Are you male or female?
  • Did your partner have an STD, that you may not have known about?

The mouth has a lot of enzymes at work, so often goes to work on pathogens before they can do a lot of damage. But someone with an open sore of any kind (or braces) or or a canker sore, or a paper cut in the mouth or on the lip….all these may provide a pathway into the system. Even something as simple as eating tortilla chips with sharp edges could cause microscopic tears in the lining of the mouth. Subsequent unprotected oral sex, could potentially put something into your system.

We don't mean to completely creep you out here. There is risk, but not terribly high risk. You should just have the facts though.

Your other question was about whether anal sex is damaging to the body. Again we don't have a definitive
answer. The rectum is not made of elastic tissue as the vagina is. So it will stretch less, and tear more. That said, there are ways to make it safer, starting with using a lubricant to smooth the way, stopping if it hurts, being relaxed, etc. If he got rough and it hurt and you didn't say anything, your partner had no way to make it better. If it got rough and it hurt and you did say something and you and your partner reconfigured, etc., all the better.

If you feel you put yourself at risk, come in to the health center or see your health care provider and get tested. Good luck.

Dear EROS, I have recently tested positive for a vaginal STD. My husband of 16 years admitted to being unfaithful. He had another woman perform oral sex on him. I think he actually had intercourse too (not that it matters, infidelity is infidelity). In trying to find out the truth, is it possible that I could get an STD from his getting a blow job? Sincerely, Mad as Hell

Dear Mad as Hell, We could probably give you better information if we knew which vaginal STD you have been diagnosed with. Some can actually be transmitted non sexually. But in general terms, yes, you can get an STD from your husband getting a blow job. As an example: if the woman who gave the blow job to your husband had oral herpes, she could have transmitted it to his penis and then he could have transmitted it to you. If that had happened you would both now have genital herpes.

However, there are a lot of other STDs out in the big world. Bacterial infections such as Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be spread through oral, vaginal or anal sex, or by sharing sex toys. Viral infections such as genital herpes and genital warts can be spread by skin to skin contact in addition to oral, anal or vaginal sex.

Are you experiencing any symptoms? You may want to see your health care provider and get more information on the specific infection you were diagnosed with. You will want to know how to treat it, cure it (if that is possible) and how to prevent it in the future.

We would also recommend some marital counseling to help heal the rift and allow you both to move forward. We wish you the best.

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Dear EROS, I think I might have gonorrhea and now I have been obsessed with reading and seeing pictures about what it is. I am worried I have it and may have passed it to other partners who have given me oral sex. I have always used protection when having vaginal and anal sex, but only occasionally for oral sex, if I haven’t been with the partner for long. Well, what made me think that I have this is due to the change I’ve noticed in my cum. When I was younger, I remembered it to be a more whitish watery color and sticky. But now, looking at it, what I have noticed is that my cum looks a little thicker and it almost seems like it comes in small clusters that aren’t exactly like it, but when I pinch the fluid between my 2 fingers I can break the clusters apart. It seems it got a little more chunky but it still remains white and is still part clear when I ejaculate. It never hurts when I pee, but I have also read that sometimes symptoms may not come up if you have an STD. So I guess my question is if this change in cum texture is normal or if maybe something is wrong. Either way I am going to get a check up next Thursday but I would still like to hear from you guys. So please email ASAP. Signed, Stressed out Guy

Dear Stressed Out Guy, You don’t say how old you are, but you have noticed the consistency of your ejaculation changing as you get older. That part is normal. We think it is unlikely that you have gonorrhea. Usually men have quite painful symptoms. Although, men with gonorrhea may have no symptoms at all, if you do have them, they can appear 2-5 days after infection or can take up to thirty days. Symptoms include painful or frequent urination, discharges that are white, yellow, or even green. And you don't list any of those symptoms.

The change in the texture of your ejaculate could be normal if you have not ejaculated for a long time. It can also be due to a prostate infection, but it is difficult to tell without being examined. So, it is great that you are going to go to the doctor to get a check-up.

We also want to mention, to avoid future scares, that dental dams and condoms during oral sex will keep you out of this kind of stress you are experiencing.

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Dear EROS, I have been in a monogamous relationship for well over a year now and I know she has no STDS at all. Well I masturbated one night (using a very oily lubricant) and the next morning I woke up and saw a pimple-like thing on the right side in the middle section of my penis. Should I be worried about any STDS? It does not itch or burn or anything. It looks like a red pimple. I am not sure if I should be worried (I am now) or if it's just from the lubricant. Please help ---Worried

Dear Worried, Our first question is, how do you know she has no STDS at all? Even though you've been in a monogamous relationship for over a year, there are still many STDS that have no symptoms. STDS could linger for several months to several years before setting off to do more damage in you or your partner.

It also could be just a reaction to the oily lubricant. Or it could be a pimple but to be safe you may want to get checked out by a health care provider.

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Dear EROS, What is HPV? I keep seeing things around on it. Is there a vaccine against it? Just Wondering, and a little worried...

Dear Just, You're right to be a little worried. We have quite a bit of it on this campus. HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is the group of viruses known to cause genital warts, and is now linked to some cervical cancers. Genital warts can be raised or flat, single or multiple, small or large. Sometimes however, HPV infection causes no visible warts, and many people with HPV do not know they have it. For women, an abnormal pap smear may be the first sign that HPV is present. A pap smear can show changes that could be caused by HPV infection, although it is not an accurate test for the virus by itself. There is no vaccine against HPV, so prevention is your best bet. Using a condom can lower your risk of contacting HPV. For more information about HPV, you're welcome to come in and see an EROS counselor.

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Dear EROS, Which is riskier: performing unprotected oral sex on a male or a female? Arguing with my partner

Dear Arguing, At least you're both talking about it, which is better than not even raising the issue! We are assuming you are referring to HIV transmission, but the following applies to most STDs as well. While we don't recommend performing unprotected oral sex on anyone, performing it on a male is slightly more risky than performing it on a female, unless the woman is menstruating. Of the body fluids which transmit HIV, blood has the highest concentration of the virus, followed by pre-ejaculatory fluid (pre-cum), semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk, in that order. Therefore, performing unprotected oral sex is riskiest when blood is involved (such as when a woman is menstruating), followed by exposure to pre-ejaculatory fluid and semen (as in performing oral sex on a man), and then exposure to vaginal secretions (oral sex on a female). To make oral sex safer, condoms and barriers should be used. "Kiss of Mint" condoms are designed for oral sex, since they are non lubricated and flavored. We don't recommend a condom with a spermicide on it because they taste awful. For performing oral sex on a woman, a barrier should be placed between your partner's genitals and your mouth. You can use a dental dam, cut a condom lengthwise, or use a piece of Saran Wrap.

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Dear EROS, I had an abortion about a year and a half ago. I had to go back in two weeks and see how everything was going. If I had any sexual transmitted diseases, wouldn't the doctor tell me then? Or do I have to have a specific test for that? From: Asking

Dear Asking, During the abortion procedure itself, the clinician will generally not check for any sexually transmitted infections (STDs). The follow-up visit after the abortion, however, is an excellent time to voice any concerns about any STDs, so that your clinician can check at that time. Generally, follow this rule of thumb: If you are concerned about any STDs, you have to be the one to ask your provider to check for them. During any routine pelvic exam, if you have specific, recognizable symptoms, such as sores on the vagina, redness, or vaginal discharge, your provider may check then. The only problem is that for many STDs, women may not produce any symptoms at all. Therefore it really is your responsibility to request an STD check during your visit with your provider. Keep in mind that some STDs -- including Syphilis, Hepatitis B, and HIV -- need to be checked through a blood test.

Many of these tests can be done at our Student Health Center at low cost compared elsewhere. To call for an appointment at the Health Center call 677-3493. If you would like more information or have any questions, you can call EROS at 677-3696, or come in and see a counselor. Appointments preferred.

Dear EROS, After taking a shower, my boyfriend performed oral sex on me, but I have a yeast infection. Should I be worried? Is this transmissible? Also, do you guys issue free condoms? And, I've heard about this morning after pill do you guys offer any such thing? Lots of Questions

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Dear Lots, Men usually do not contract yeast infections, and especially since this occurred after your shower, he is probably at very low risk. The vaginal itching is probably a bigger annoyance factor for you. Yeast infections can be treated pretty quickly these days. There are some creme medications that work in 3 days and even an oral pill that is taken just once, and works on its own over the next week or so. Regarding free condoms--the EROS counselors do purchase condoms a few times a year to give away at promotional events (Valentine's Day, Halloween, etc.), but in general, no we do not give away free condoms just for the asking. However, our pharmacy carries them REALLY inexpensively! You can walk in and get 1 dozen condoms for the small sum of $2. It's one of the best deals on campus. We highly recommend it.

And about the morning after pill. It is now known as Emergency Contraception or ECP. The name change is probably due to the fact that it can be taken any time in the first 72 hours after unprotected intercourse. The sooner you take it, the better. ECP reduces unintended pregnancies by 75%, which thereby reduces the need for abortions as well. There are a variety of dosages depending on what is prescribed for you. Please see a clinician, if this pertains to you. Good luck.

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Dear EROS, If a sex partner has AIDS, or a sexually transmitted disease and you let that person perform unprotected oral sex on you, will you catch what they have through the intercourse of their saliva with your penis? Can you answer for both scenarios "AIDS" and "STDs?" At Risk

Dear At Risk, Thanks for checking your concerns out with us. The truth is, yes you are at risk for both HIV and other STDs. Depending on what the other partner has, it's not just the saliva you need to worry about, but open sores in their mouth that could transmit a virus. Plus, does the encounter end with the aforementioned oral sex, or do you engage in other activities that might also put you at risk? The fact that you've asked if a sex partner had AIDS or STDs tells us you don't know enough about your partners to be having unprotected sex. Spend more time talking beforehand about risks and protection, and risks and protection, and remember: NEVER NEGOTIATE NAKED!!

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