Sexual Health

Sexual health includes STI prevention, birth control & contraception, consent, communication with your partner(s), accessing care at HUHS, and much more. 

The Center for Wellness & Health Promotion is here to help guide you in creating healthy and safe sexual experiences. If you have more questions, feel free to call us at 617-496-2053.

Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) & Getting Tested

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs)

STIs are passed from one person to another through sexual activity including vaginal, oral, and anal sex. They can also be passed from one person to another through body-to-body contact.

How confidential are our STI results?

The results are strictly confidential according to federal law.

Where can students get tested?

STI testing at Harvard

If you are on your parents' health insurance or the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP), Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) provides STI testing without any out-of-pocket cost to you. If you are on a different health insurance plan, please refer to your benefit guide to confirm coverage for STI testing.

STI testing within the Boston area

If you do not feel comfortable going to HUHS for STI testing, the CDC website has a list of locations for HIV and STI testing in the Cambridge and Boston area and beyond, just enter your zipcode.

How often should you get tested?

Frequency of testing will vary by each individual person. Check out the CDC's recommendations on how often to get tested.

Harvard University Student Health Plan (HUSHP) Birth Control Information

There is a $0 copayment for all generic prescription contraceptives and brand name products that have no generic equivalent. Visit the HUSHP website for more information.
If you waived coverage in the Student Health Insurance Plan, please contact your insurance plan for copayment rates and information.

Birth Control, Barrier Methods, & Emergency Contraception (Plan B)

Understanding about what kind of barrier method or birth control you are looking for is important. There are many different kinds of each and it can feel overwhelming. Don't fear! We are here to help. Not all types of birth control protect against STIs, and not all forms birth control are made equal. It's important to talk to your doctor about which might be the best for you.
Bedsider provides detailed descriptions of all types of contraceptives and barrier methods, answers questions, and contains informational videos and testimonials. Check out their birth control method explorer.

Emergency Contraception (Plan B)

Plan B can be purchased 24/7 at the ScriptCenter kiosk, located inside the HUHS main entrance (first floor, Smith Campus Center) and HUHS pharmacy (during regular business hours) for a cost of $15.00. Plan B is free of charge for students who present in the clinic as a result of trauma.


What is Emergency Contracpetion or Plan B?

Emergency contraception, also called the morning after pill, is medication given to reduce the chance of pregnancy after unprotected sexual intercourse or contraceptive failure. Emergency contraception does not protect against sexually transmitted infections; it is meant for one-time emergency protection and is not as effective as other forms of birth control.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved over-the-counter sale of emergency contraception (levonorgestrel: Next Choice®, Plan B® One-Step, My Way) to men and women age 17 and older. If you are 17 or older and want to buy emergency contraception, you do not need a prescription and you can purchase this at local pharmacies, including the HUHS Pharmacy. You will need a government-issued form of ID, such as a driver’s license, that proves you are at least 17 years old. Adolescents age 16 and younger need a prescription for emergency contraception.
For additional information, contact your HUHS clinician during regular hours or Urgent Care at (617) 495-5711 during evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Sexual Health 101 Workshop for Students

This workshop covers sexual health information including safer sex practices that decrease STI risk, contraceptive options, as well as how to access relevant services through Harvard University Health Services. Sexual Health 101 emphasizes the diversity of experiences surrounding sex and sexuality, and the importance of clear and open communication. It aims to ensure that students are equipped with the information they need to make happy and healthy choices for themselves, whenever they feel the time is right for them.

Request this workshop here.