If you have ever had sex, there's a good chance you already have (or are a carrier for) Human Papillomavirus. Sorry, old sport. But the good news is that everyone has it! So it's no big deal. And most of the time it has no symptoms. The rest of the time, however...it does. (Oh good God, it really does; we just google image searched "HPV warts," and nothing will ever be the same again.) HPV is spread by skin-to-skin contact, meaning that condoms provide limited protection against transmission; the only guaranteed way to avoid exposure is abstinence - which is Latin for "something no one would ever do on purpose." Your best bet is to pray that when the HPV inevitably comes for you, it won't be the strain with the warts.
Sure, you can keep calling it a cold sore if you want, but we all know what's really going on down there. And you should waste no time in getting it checked out, because according to science, as many as one in five college kids has herpes, and you've slept with all of them, playa'. Plus, while it may be terrifying to find out that you have an incurable and unsightly STD, having one and not finding out is even worse. Anyway, haven't you ever seen a Valtrex commercial? People with herpes can live long, fruitful, highly embarrassing, totally normal lives.
The highly contagious so-called "kissing disease" generally causes symptoms similar to flu or strep throat combined with extreme exhaustion that can last for several months. If you do contract mono, there's nothing you can really do other than wait it out - like a bad movie, or high school. And beware that even after you feel better, you may still have an enlarged spleen and should therefore limit your physical activity - besides, that's what got you into this mess in the first place.
Affectionately known as The Clap, as STDs go, Gonorrhea is probably the best one to get (and yes, we're using the term "best" somewhat loosely, to mean "Better than something that makes your dick fall off"). And that's because it is easily cured with a quick round of antibiotics. Also, "Gonorrhea" is fun to say. It sounds like the name of an exotic lady. Oh wait, no; it sounds like an infection that causes you to experience a burning sensation when you pee. Our mistake.
This is one we're really hoping nobody gets, since it can be deadly. That's why most civilized schools require all students to provide documentation that they've been vaccinated against the disease prior to arriving on campus. Problem solved, right? Nope. Because, every few years, some asshole decides "vaccinations aren't really my thing, man," and the next thing you know, a liberal arts school in Maine has a full-fledged outbreak on its hands. So, don't be an asshole: get your vaccination. And then stay away from any students who appear to be covered in a suspicious rash, because that can be a sign of Meningitis. But also because that's gross, and don't touch it.
Photos by RuslanDashinsky/ iStockphoto.com | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013