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Sexual Health


According to the World Health Organization, sexual health is defined as a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.1


HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are serious health concerns. According to the CDC, anal sex is the riskiest sexual behavior for getting and transmitting HIV for all genders.

The only way to ensure complete protection against HIV, other STIs and pregnancy is abstinence. If you choose to be sexually active, the best way to reduce transmission of HIV and other STIs and prevent pregnancy is to use a condom or other barrier method during any form of sexual activity – anal, oral or vaginal.

Sexually transmitted infections are serious, but can be prevented, treated and/or managed. It is important to get tested regularly for HIV and other STIs to treat any infections and prevent transmission to others.

According to the CDC2:

  • Nearly half of the 20 million new sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) diagnosed each year are among young people aged 15–24 years.

  • Cisgender women can have long term effects of these diseases, including pelvic inflammatory disease, infertility, tubal scarring, ectopic pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain.

  • About 1 in 4 (26 percent) of all new HIV infections is among youth ages 13 to 24 years.

  • About 4 in 5 of these infections occur in males.

Additional Stats from the American Sexual Health Association3:

  • One in two sexually active persons will contract an STD/STI by age 25.

  • In 2008, there were an estimated 110 million prevalent STIs among women and men in the U.S. Of these, more than 20 percent (22.1 million) were among women and men aged 15 to 24 years.

  • One out of 20 people in the United States will get infected with hepatitis B (HBV) some time during their lives. Hepatitis B is 100 times more infectious than HIV.

  • It is estimated that as many as one in five Americans have genital herpes, a lifelong (but manageable) infection, yet up to 90 percent of those with herpes are unaware they have it.

  • Each year, there are almost 3 million new cases of chlamydia, many of which are in adolescents and young adults.

  • About two-thirds of young females believe doctors routinely screen teens for chlamydia. However, in 2003 only 30 percent of women 25 and under with commercial health care plans and 45% in Medicaid plans were screened for chlamydia.

The CDC provides the following tips2:

  • If you are a sexually active female aged 25 years or younger, get tested every year for chlamydia. If left untreated, chlamydia can affect your ability to have children.

  • If you are diagnosed with an STI/STD, notify your sex partners so they can be tested and receive treatment if needed. If your sex partner is diagnosed with an STI/STD, you need to be evaluated, tested and treated.

  • The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of STI/STDs, including HIV infection, are to abstain from sexual activity or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner.

  • Latex male and female condoms and other barrier methods, when used consistently and correctly, can reduce the risk of transmission of some STI/STDs.

American Sexual Health Association 

CDC: HIV/AIDS and STDs: Detailed information about different types of STDs/STIs, fact sheets, treatment and care, and more 

AIDS.gov: One-stop access to U.S. Government HIV/AIDS information

STD Wizard: Online STD Risk Calculator 

2Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (August 2016). College Health and Safety. Retrieved from URL

3American Sexual Health Association. (n.d.). Statistics. Retrieved from URL

Please call ahead to verify testing procedures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Testing Through Student Health Services 

Student Health Services offers confidential testing for HIV and various STDs/STIs during normal business hours. You can make an appointment online through MyHealth-e, and it takes a few days to receive test results. Lab fees do apply. If you have the Clemson University Student Health Insurance Plan with AIG, all of these tests are covered 100% if done at Redfern. Please don't urinate within an hour before your appointment.

Low-Cost Testing at DHEC Public Health Clinics

DHEC provides low cost, confidential STD, HIV, and Hepatitis C testing in county health departments across the upstate. Please call the DHEC appointment line 1-855-472-3432 or use the online Web Chat feature to make an appointment.

Locations nearby include:

Please don't urinate within an hour before your appointment.

Free Testing in Anderson and Greenville Through AID Upstate

AID Upstate is located in Anderson and Greenville. You can call anytime and make an appointment for free, confidential rapid HIV and hepatitis C testing with same day results. Other STI screenings are available. Please call AID Upstate at 864-226-9164 or 1-800-755-2040 to make an appointment. Their hours are as follows:

  • Anderson location Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Greenville location Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Please don't urinate within an hour before your appointment. 

Free Testing in Charleston Through Lowcountry AIDS Services 

Lowcountry AIDS Services, located in Charleston, offers free, confidential HIV/STD testing at their North Charleston office at 3547 Meeting Street Road. Testing hours are 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Monday – Thursday. No appointment necessary. Please don't urinate within an hour before your appointment.

The only way to ensure complete protection against HIV, other STIs and pregnancy is abstinence. If you choose to be sexually active, the best way to reduce transmission of HIV and other STIs and prevent pregnancy is to use physical barrier methods (ex. condoms, dental dams) during any form of sexual activity – anal, oral or vaginal. Using barrier methods correctly and consistently can also provide protection against other diseases that can be transmitted through sex like the Zika virus

American Sexual Health Association: Your Safer Sex Toolbox 

The Facts About Barrier Methods 

Condom Sense – A How-to Guide for "Getting It On"


CDC: Female/Internal Condom and Male/External Condom Effectiveness

Different methods of contraception are available at Redfern Health Center. Free condoms, donated by AID Upstate, are provided in Redfern. A variety of barrier methods are available in the pharmacy, and the Women’s Clinic can write prescriptions for most birth control methods.

CDC: Contraception


The Women’s Clinic, located in Redfern Health Center, offers a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services:


  • Contraceptive counseling and decision making
  • Contraceptive implant (Nexplanon) placement, management and removal
  • Intrauterine device (IUD) placement, management and removal
  • Depo-Provera injections
  • Contraceptive pills, patches and vaginal ring
  • Emergency contraception (morning-after pill and IUD)

Sexually transmitted diseases

  • Testing and treatment for chlamydia, gonorrhea, herpes and syphilis
  • Testing and referral for HIV
  • Testing and treatment for other genital problems, such as warts and molluscum
  • HPV vaccine
  • Prevention of HIV–preexposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post exposure prophylaxis (PEP)
  • Follow-up after sexual assault


  • Well-woman exam and Pap
  • Pelvic pain
  • Painful intercourse
  • UTIs and other urinary problems
  • Vaginal infections
  • Menstrual disorders and abnormal bleeding
  • Breast exams

Transgender care

  • Maintenance of hormone therapy
  • Surgical referrals
  • Referral for fertility preservation

Male sexual health

  • Urinary problems
  • Genital pain
  • Erectile dysfunction


  • Pre-pregnancy counseling
  • Pregnancy testing
  • Infertility evaluation and referral
  • Pregnancy referrals

Learn More/Resources

American Sexual Health Association   Everything you want to know about sexual health

The American Sexual Health Association includes information on sexual health care, self image, STDs/STIs, barrier methods, vaccines, sex and relationships, and much more.

LGBTQ Resources:

Pregnancy Options


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Sexual Health 

Includes up-to-date information about STDs, basic HIV/AIDS information and resources for prevention, answers to women’s and men’s reproductive concerns, how to have a healthy pregnancy and more

Clemson Student Health 101


Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

1Gender and human rights. (n.d.). Retrieved from URL