I want to be tested for HIV. How do I go about doing this?
You can be tested for HIV right on campus through the Oswego County Health Department. Testing is done at the Mary Walker Health Center on Tuesdays between 1:00-3:00 and is free for students by appointment only. The test is not a blood test but rather an oral swab called "oraquick." You will have your results in 20 minutes. The test is confidential, meaning only you and your tester know who you are. To make an appointment, call (315) 349-3547 and ask for Tina. To be tested on campus, make sure you make the appointment at Walker Health Center.
Is it true you should be using condoms for oral sex?
It is possible to contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI) through oral sex. If the person giving the oral sex has a cold sore, which is a type of herpes, the virus could spread to the genitals. Oral sex with a partner infected with gonorrhea or chlamydia may cause an infection in the throat. It is also possible to contract HIV through oral sex. If the person performing oral sex has HIV, blood from their mouth may enter the body of the person receiving oral sex through the lining of the urethra (the opening at the tip of the penis), the lining of the vagina or cervix or directly into the body through small cuts or sores. People oftentimes have small cuts in their mouths and are unaware that they could spread the virus. If the person receiving oral sex has HIV or other STI’s, their blood, semen, pre-seminal fluid, or vaginal fluid may contain the virus. Cells lining the mouth of the person performing oral sex may allow HIV to enter the body. Using a condom decreases the risk of contracting an STI though oral sex. Flavored condoms are available at many pharmacies and are available in the Lifestyles Center in Mary Walker Health Center at ten for a dollar. Condoms may be used on women for oral sex by cutting the tip off the condom, cutting down the side of the condom, and then unrolling. You can also purchase latex dams, which are made especially for oral sex, at the Lifestyles Center for a dollar each.
I got my flu shot this week. That means I’m protected from H1N1 (formerly known as the swine flu) as well, right?
Getting the seasonal flu shot does not protect someone from the H1N1 virus. However, The Mary Walker Health Center expects to receive the H1N1 vaccine in mid-October. But don’t panic, a vaccine isn’t the only protection against H1N1. To decrease the chances of contracting the virus, wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing the birthday song twice). If soap and water isn’t available, hand sanitizer is also an effective way to kill germs. Avoid touching the eyes, nose, or mouth as germs spread this way. Covering the nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and throwing this tissue in the trash limits the spread of germs. Also, stay home when you are sick. This year, the college is asking anyone who is sick to stay home. You do not need a note from a doctor to excuse absences from class this semester. Your professors should understand that you are trying to protect everyone else from what you have.