Have you been asked the Five P’s??? – April is STD Awareness Month

GYT - Make your appointment!

Use protection

Let’s say you are going to Student Health or your private caregiver.  In most cases, they are going to ask you a few questions about your sexual health and sexual practices. These questions are very personal, but they are as important as the questions about other areas of physical and mental health. Your answers are kept in strict confidence. 

So, are you ready to talk about your five P’s?  The five “P”s stand for Partners, Practices, Protection from STDs, Past history of STDs, and Prevention of pregnancy.

Partners

  • Are you currently sexually active? (Are you having sex?)
  • In the past 12 months, how many sex partners have you had?
  • Are your sex partners men, women, or both?

Practices

  • What kind of sexual contact do you have or have you had?
  • Genital (penis in the vagina), Anal (penis in the anus), Oral (mouth on penis, vagina, or anus)?

Protection from STDs

  • Do you and your partner(s) use any protection against STDs? If not, why?  If so, what kind”
  • How often do you use this protection? If “sometimes,” in what situations or with whom do you use protection?
  • Are there other forms of protection that you would like to discuss today?

Past history of STD’s

  • Have you ever been diagnosed with an STD?
  • Have you had any recurring symptoms or diagnoses?
  • Have you ever been tested for HIV, or other STDs? Would you like to be tested?
  • Has your current partner or any former partners ever been diagnosed or treated for an STD?

Prevention of pregnancy (Based on partners noted earlier, conception and contraception questions may be appropriate)

  • Are you currently trying to conceive or father a child?
  • Are you concerned about getting pregnant or getting your partner pregnant?
  • Are you using contraception or practicing any form of birth control?
  • Do you need any information on birth control?

Finally, before you move on to discuss other things with your caregiver, consider:

  • Are there other things about your sexual health and sexual practices that you should discuss to help ensure your good health?
  • Any other concerns or questions regarding sexual health in general?

Student Health Services can offer you expert advice, all the current diagnostic and treatment options, and vaccinations that can protect you long term.  Come see us, and GET YOURSELF TESTED

Roger Miller, MD (OSU Student Health)

HIV/AIDS AWARENESS at OSU

http://www.itsyoursexlife.com/gyt/to

Order-It-Yourself Testing

September 27th is National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.  As we move into our fourth decade dealing with the HIV virus and the resulting diseases, It is important to consider that HIV is still having a major impact on people’s lives every day.  Gay men and other MSM have played a critical role in educating their community (and subsequently, the rest of the world) about the risks of HIV, ways to prevent transmission, and ways to reach out and assist those living with HIV every day.   

Nationally, there is an ongoing focus on reaching out to everyone at risk, including some who have not had the opportunity to hear the message, including many young people and people of color.  Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS at CDC, wrote this post from the White House Office of AIDS policy, and he references many groups that are empowering men to get tested regularly, encourage their partners to get tested, and think about ways to prevent new HIV infections.

Here at OSU, there are ongoing efforts to educate students and assist them with testing options.  The Student Wellness Center recognizes sexual health as one of the critical dimensions of wellness, and offers many resources.  Gustavo Carlos, who serves as a sexpert for the SWC outreach, meets with students weekly to discuss safer sex and answer questions. 

However, there is work still to do right here on campus.  Martez Smith, OSU social work major and member of the AIDS Resource Center Ohio, works with many MSM of color, and is concerned that sexual health and STI prevention messages are not reaching these students.  He is involved in community programs that are reaching out to OSU student organizations to help spread the word. 

Have you ever been tested?  Even if your risk is small, the CDC recommends testing for HIV AT LEAST ONCE.  If you have ongoing risk, then annual testing is in order.  Student Health Services can assist you in many ways, including access to testing, education materials, and access to medical professionals who can counsel you and answer your questions.  Check out our past GYT (Get Yourself Tested) blogs for other pointers.

Get tested.  Know your status.

Roger Miller, MD  (OSU Student Health Services)

 

 

Get Your GYT On!

Click Picture to link

We use a lot of resources from the GYT (Get Yourself Tested) site, sponsored by MTV and CDC.  This is especially true during STD Awareness Month, which is rapidly coming to a close.  One fairly new item on the site is the GYT Party!   Rest assured, this is not a political party.  It is an interactive website, where you hang out, get some information, and listen in on some cool conversations.   You might even learn something!! 

So, come on, join us at the Party!

GYT PARTY

Good Health! 

Roger Miller, MD (OSU Student Health)

Q: I’ve been exposed! When should I get my STD test?

Get Yourself Tested

Use protection

APRIL is STD AWARENESS MONTH

Students come in on occasion with immediate concerns about STDs, especially after an unprotected sex act, or one in which the protection failed.  Their questions?

  • What STDs could I have gotten last night?
  • When would I get symptoms if infected?
  • How soon can I be tested to know that I’m ok?
  • Can I spread this to another sex partner?
  • When is Emergency Contraception needed, if there is a pregnancy risk?

These are excellent questions, and require some discussion with a healthcare provider.  The reason is that STDs can vary from a few days to several months or more in terms of INCUBATION.  INCUBATION means the time needed from exposure to infection.  Getting tested immediately (or the next morning) may be too early to find the bug when it is first growing, but can tell us about your past risks. 

While testing may need to be delayed or repeated, treatment is often given right after exposure, if a partner is known to be infected with an STD.  This is called EMPIRIC treatment for an exposed partner, and can prevent an STD before it starts.

Final points –

  • While we will strive to address all your concerns on the first visit, there will likely still be some unknowns at the end of your visit.  We will establish a treatment and testing plan that is best suited to your needs.
  • Protection is Prevention if used consistently and carefully.  Most condoms fail because of user errors. 
  • Student Health Services is your healthcare provider in the heart of campus.  Come see us for our caring and expertise.   

Good Health!

Roger Miller, MD  (OSU Student Health)

Have you been asked the Five P’s??? – April is STD Awareness Month

Wilce Student Health Center

GYT - Make your appointment!

Use protection

Lets say you are going to Student Health or your private caregiver.  In most cases, they are going to ask you a few questions about your sexual health and sexual practices. These questions are very personal, but they are as important as the questions about other areas of physical and mental health. Your answers are kept in strict confidence. 

So, are you ready to talk about your five P’s?  The five “P”s stand for Partners, Practices, Protection from STDs, Past history of STDs, and Prevention of pregnancy.

Partners

  • Are you currently sexually active? (Are you having sex?)
  • In the past 12 months, how many sex partners have you had?
  • Are your sex partners men, women, or both?

Practices

  • What kind of sexual contact do you have or have you had?
  • Genital (penis in the vagina), Anal (penis in the anus), Oral (mouth on penis, vagina, or anus)?

Protection from STDs

  • Do you and your partner(s) use any protection against STDs? If not, why?  If so, what kind”
  • How often do you use this protection? If “sometimes,” in what situations or with whom do you use protection?
  • Are there other forms of protection that you would like to discuss today?

Past history of STD’s

  • Have you ever been diagnosed with an STD?
  • Have you had any recurring symptoms or diagnoses?
  • Have you ever been tested for HIV, or other STDs? Would you like to be tested?
  • Has your current partner or any former partners ever been diagnosed or treated for an STD?

Prevention of pregnancy (Based on partners noted earlier, conception and contraception questions may be appropriate)

  • Are you currently trying to conceive or father a child?
  • Are you concerned about getting pregnant or getting your partner pregnant?
  • Are you using contraception or practicing any form of birth control?
  • Do you need any information on birth control?

Finally, before you move on to discuss other things with your caregiver, consider:

  • Are there other things about your sexual health and sexual practices that you should discuss to help ensure your good health?
  • Any other concerns or questions regarding sexual health in general?

Student Health Services can offer you expert advice, all the current diagnostic and treatment options, and vaccinations that can protect you long term.  Come see us, and GET YOURSELF TESTED

Nothing says “I love you” like peeing in a cup!

Love - Fear

Order-It-Yourself Testing

The Student Health Center

 Stumped as to what to get that special someone in your life this Valentine’s Day?   A box of chocolates is so ‘been there done that’.   Those handmade “coupons” for a free back rub or carrying her books to class were cute last year, but she ain’t falling for that again.  And while checking out Star Wars – Phantom Menace in 3D would be a blast with your buddies, it just doesn’t set that romantic tone you’re looking for.

Well, fret no more my friends.  Student Health Services has the perfect gift for your valentine this year – Order-It-Yourself lab testing!!

What says “I love you” better than a pee-in-the-cup Chlamydia test? 

Feeling tired, honey?  Well why don’t you go to the Student Health Center and get screened for anemia and diabetes?  It’s on me.

The man in your life putting on a few extra pounds?  Well nothing will get him more motivated for Speedo season than a quick peek at his cholesterol levels.

All of these wonderful tests and more are available at the Student Health Center.  And the best part is that you don’t need an appointment or even have to see a health care provider to get them.  Check out our information page for prices and other information.

Just one word of caution.  Nothing lights the flames of passion like a visit to the Student Health Center so be careful that you don’t get burned by those fireworks tonight!

John A. Vaughn, MD (OSU Student Health Services)

How to check on your pee

buzzle.com

Order-It-Yourself Testing

The Student Health Center

Q: I am a first year transfer student at OSU, and new to your services. I was wondering if you offer urine screenings?

A: Thanks for your question.  The answer depends on what type of urine screening is desired.  We do three types of urine screening as “OIY (Order-It-Yourself)” tests –

  • drug abuse screens
  • gonorrhea/chlamydia testing
  • pregnancy tests

These are all at your own cost.  For more information on OIY, check out Order-It-Yourself (OIY) Testing at our Student Health web site.  The web site also has a lot of other information, such as our location, hours, and a calendar of events.

If you are interested in some other type of urine screening, you should consider making an appointment with a healthcare provider for an evaluation and discussion of your concerns.  If you see one of our providers, we can order your test right away, and most appointments are available either the same day or within a few days. 

Wish to see a provider outside of Student Health?  Our laboratory can still process most lab orders, if you bring in or the provider sends us a written request. 

Hope this answers your question.  You may also wish to call our Advice/Appointments area (614) 292-4321 and discuss your concerns with our Advice Nurse.

Good Health!

Roger Miller, MD, (OSU Student Health Services) 

Can you learn about safe sex from porn movies?

Men's Services

photo: tbdhu.com

GYT - Make your appointment!

Use protection

CNN Health recently ran an interesting story about efforts in Los Angeles to pass a law requiring the use of condoms in all adult films produced in the city.  Safer sex advocates hope that seeing condoms used in these films may help to make them more acceptable to the public.  

But will it?  Is a message that encourages a positive health behavior more likely to be received if its delivered within a fictionalized story (and believe me guys, porn moves are fiction with a capial “F”) as opposed to a news report or public service announcement?

It’s a good question, and one that a professor right here at Ohio State tried to answer last year in a research study published in the journal Human Communication Research.  Emily Moyer-Gusé and her colleague at UC Santa Barbara (go Banana Slugs!), Robin Nabi, compared how college-aged participants responded to televised messages regarding unprotected sex and the risk for unintended pregnancy. 

Their findings?

  • Presenting this information in a news format, with interviews with young people coping with an unexpected pregnancy, had LITTLE EFFECT on the participants’ likelihood to use birth control.
  • Presenting the same information in a dramatic setting (in this case, an episode of the TV show “The OC”) led the female subjects to commit to taking action to prevent pregnancies in the future.
  • The male subjects, on the other hand, were actually LESS LIKELY to take action after watching the drama.

The researchers surmised that the women were more emotionally in touch with the characters in the TV drama so the show’s message had more impact, while the men may have been turned off by the storyline and therefore less receptive to the health message.

But can porn movies teach anybody anything about the realities of sex?  I doubt it.  Guys have never exactly paid too much attention to their storylines, so I’m guessing that adding condoms to the prop department won’t do that much to promote the cause of safe sex.  Hopefully I’m wrong.

But in the meantime, always wear a condom regardless of what you see onscreen.  Your risk of getting an STD is even higher than the risk of pregnancy without one, and you could probably do without either situation in your life right now. 

If you are having unprotected sex, be sure to call Student Health to come in and Get Yourself Tested.

Roger Miller, MD (OSU Student Health Services)

What’s the Deal with HPV?

genital wart caused by HPV infection

photo: timeinc.net

Use protection

HPV stands for Human Papillomavirus. There are over 100 strains of HPV, about 30 of which can be sexually transmitted. HPV can cause a number of different diseases including genital warts and cervical cancer, as well as other less common cancers of the anus, throat, penis, vulva and vagina. Different strains of HPV cause different diseases; the “low-risk” types are more likely to cause genital warts while the “high-risk” types are more likely to lead to cancer.

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) estimates that about 50% of sexually active men and women will get HPV at some time in their lives.  Some people who have HPV have no visible signs of infection, so they spread it to their partners without even knowing they have it.  HPV is spread by direct skin-to-skin contact so you can get it even if you are using a condom.  There is no medical treatment for HPV but fortunately, in about 90% of cases an individual’s immune system will get rid of the virus on its own within two years. 

It is very important that all sexually active women receive an annual exam.  Your health care provider will examine you for genital warts and/or signs of precancerous changes of the cervix called “cervical dysplasia.” Cervical cancer is most successfully treated when it is caught early.

A vaccine that protects against the four most common strains of HPV is now available for men and women ages 9-26. This vaccine will greatly decrease your chances of becoming infected with one of the viruses that can cause cervical cancer.  If you’ve already been infected with one of these four strains, the vaccine won’t cure you but it can prevent you from getting one of the other types.  Even if you do get the vaccine, it is very important that women still go for regular exams.

The staff at Student Health Services is happy to answer any of your questions, perform all recommended exams and tests, and provide the HPV vaccine.  In the meantime, here are some other good sources of reliable information:

http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/    http://www.ashastd.org/hpv/hpv_learn_myths.cfm 

http://www.itsyoursexlife.com/gyt/know/std-low-down/

Angie Walker (Ohio State College of Medicine)

John A. Vaughn, MD (Ohio State Student Health Services)

Let’s talk: STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) testing

photo: tbdhu.com

Love - Fear

GYT - Make your appointment!

So you’re no virgin – you fooled around in high school and had a “went all the way” partner before coming to Ohio State.  But now you’ve met a special person, and things are getting pretty serious.  When do you start talking about testing?

As a doctor at Student Health, I have talked to students that have made different decisions when it comes to sex and STI testing. Some get tested before they ever have any sex.  Some do it before they decide to have penetrative sex (you know, intercourse, either vaginal or anal).  Some decide to get tested when they are ready to stop using condoms with their partner. (which opens up a whole can of worms when it comes to preventing pregnancy, but that is a different post.)  

So, which decision is the right one? Let’s compare another situation:

  • Person 1 likes to put on her seat belt as soon as she gets in the car,
  • Person 2 waits until she is pulling out of the Lennox parking lot and onto the street, and
  • Person 3 only wears hers when driving on the freeway. 

Who is the safest? Who is right? It’s hard to say because everyone thinks about risk and how much risk they are willing to take on differently.  That is why you must talk to your partner about STI’s.  Don’t assume that they will decide for you, or that you can decide for your partner.  TALK. 

Need some suggestions for getting ready for the TALK?  Visit the GYT site for some talking tips

Ready to get tested?  Visit our web site or call for more information and to get it done.  All enrolled OSU students are eligible to be seen at Student Health Services, right here next door to the RPAC. 

See you soon.

Roger Miller, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University