Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) Testing

Medical Services is committed to assisting students in learning about prevention of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). An STI evaluation will include a discussion with a primary care provider about concerns and possible symptoms, a physical examination, and testing, if appropriate. Results of the physical are discussed with the student and lab results are reported as soon as they become available.

Schedule an appointment with a Medical Services provider to learn more about STI prevention.

Testing for HIV and general education related to sexual health matters are offered through Gay Health Advocacy Project without an appointment. Hours vary, so check the schedule.

If you think you have been sexually assaulted, the Sexual Violence Response team can provide resources for confidential STI testing.

All services are provided in a confidential environment that respects privacy.

There are medical tests for most STIs, commonly syphilis, chlamydia, HIV, and gonorrhea. But not all of the tests are reliable. Often, a physical examination, in combination with diagnostic screening tools such as Pap smears, is needed to make an accurate diagnosis. Medical Services believes that high-quality care for STIs also includes education about typical symptoms, the reliability of the test, potential treatments, and what happens if students do not seek treatment.

HIV testing and counseling are performed by counselors from our Gay Health Advocacy Project; they provide information specific to HIV/AIDS, how testing is done, and safer sex practices. Students also have the opportunity to ask questions.

Preventing STIs

Some important recommendations to prevent STIs include:

  • Know your sexual partner(s). Before you become intimate, have a discussion about STIs, sexual history (yours and your partners), and be honest.
  • Use a condom.
  • If you or your partner think you might have symptoms of an STI, make an appointment to see a Medical Services provider.
  • Know which sexual practices put you at greater risk of STIs.
  • Recognize that substance use increases risk of STIs.

Free Condoms and Lube

The map below provides an overview of locations at Columbia where safer sex supplies can be found. The map is updated on a regular basis.

Not every location has the same options. Check the descriptions for an overview of what’s available at each location. If you can't find what you’re looking for or to suggest a location, email alice@columbia.edu.