Testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV, is available for students by appointment at University Health Services. To schedule an appointment, use the online Personal Health Portal or call 847-491-2204.
The cost of STI testing is covered under NU Student Health Insurance. Those with other insurance policies will need to pay for testing services at the time of visit and submit a reimbursement claim to the insurance provider. See the NUHS site for a list of services and fees.
For more information about STIs and STI testing, visit the American Social Health Association website.
Jump to question:
- If I make an appointment at University Health Services, what STIs are usually tested for?
- Is STI testing done during routine physicals or OB/GYN exams?
- What kinds of tests will be performed?
- What factors should I consider when deciding whether to get tested for STIs?
Q: If I make an appointment at University Health Services, what STIs are usually tested for?
A: There is no such thing as universal "routine" testing. The decision about what to test for and how often depends on each individual’s risk for different STIs. Individual risk is related to number of sexual partners, gender of sexual partners, types of sexual behavior engaged in, whether any STI symptoms or abnormalities are present, and when the most recent sexual contact occurred.
Q: Is STI testing done during routine physicals or OB/GYN exams?
A: STI testing is not automatic, even during a genital exam, a pelvic exam, or a rectal exam. If you would like STI tests, you must specifically request them.
Q: What kinds of tests will be performed?
A: Depending on which STIs are being screened for, you could be asked to give a urine sample, have a small amount of blood drawn or have a genital exam. Swabs and cultures of the vagina, cervix (opening to the uterus), urethra, anus or mouth and throat may also be performed.
A: STIs can be transmitted in two ways:
- Through mucous membranes in the vagina, penis, rectum or mouth coming into contact with infectious body fluids such as semen, vaginal fluid and blood
- Through skin-to-skin contact with sores or lesions. Skin-to-skin contact can include genital-genital contact, oral-genital contact or hand-genital contact
Modes of transmission vary for different STIs. STIs that are transmitted through skin-to-skin contact may be transmitted without penetrative intercourse, and condoms provide only partial protection -- although they are certainly much better than no protection.
You might want to be tested for STIs if you:
- Had sexual intercourse (vaginal, oral, or anal) without a condom
- Learned that a partner was not monogamous
- Have been sexually assaulted
- Had a condom break
- Had multiple sexual partners
- Learned that a past or current partner has an STI
- Discovered that a partner has been exposed to an STI
The number of partners, how "safe" you have been, whether you've been vaccinated for hepatitis B, what part of your body has been involved in sex, and the gender of your partner(s) should all be considered.
See Off-Campus Health Centers for free or low-cost STI testing.