Tips on deal with STIs and STDs

Kennedy Mason

Thielen Student Health Center distributed over 83,000 condoms on campus last year in efforts to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted disease.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, otherwise known as CDC, some STD’s do not show symptoms, so it may be hard to tell if someone is infected.

Students should make STD testing a routine part of their healthcare, said Brian Vanderheyden, program coordinator at Thielen Student Health Center.

“Make sure you are doing that every 6 months or so,” said Vanderheyden.

The best treatment for an STD would be the prevention of such diseases.

“We advise safe sex,” said Dr. Ricardo Arbulu at McFarland Clinic.

Abstinence would be the best way to prevent an STD. If abstinence isn’t possible, condoms would be the best way, Arbulu said.

If you don’t have access to condoms, prevention services is here to help.

Every Wednesday, prevention services have free condom distribution in the Union Drive Marketplace and every Thursday in the Memorial Union. 

“When used consistently and correctly, condoms and other barrier methods are really effective ways of preventing some STIs and STDs,” said Vanderheyden.

“It’s important to know that [oral] contraceptives have nothing to do with prevention of sexually transmitted diseases,” said Arbulu.

Now what do you do if you have or think you have an STD?

If a person has an STD, it’s important to be honest with every partner so that they are aware. It’s also a good way to help control who gets infected, Arbulu said.

“You can come to the health center to get tested, there are also other organizations within the community that you can go to, Planned Parenthood being one of them,” Vanderheyden said.

According to the CDC, vaccines are a safe way to prevent hepatitis B and HPV, two common forms of STDs among any person.

“HPV is a virus that is transmitted sexually and can lead to cancer of the cervix. The cervix is a part of the uterus in women,” said Arbulu.

If a person hasn’t gotten it yet, they should. Every sexually active person should get the hepatitis B vaccine, Arbulu said.

“One of the most effective things that universities can do is make condoms accessible and available to students for free. So, we really try to do that on this campus,” said Vanderheyden.

If you have any questions regarding condom distribution or ordering your own, contact Prevention Services or visit their website at

If you have questions regarding STDs themselves or testing appointments contact the Thielen Student Health Center.