Clinic provides free STI testing for students

Honoring World AIDS Day with red ribbons

By Mariah Powell
On November 16, 2012

     In honor of World AIDS Day, the University Health Clinic will offer students free testing for sexually transmitted infections. The testing will take place in the University Center spine Nov. 30 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

     The local health department closed its STD clinic Sept. 28 due to the cut of funds and Planned Parenthood has lost its funding for free or low cost testing as well.

     "This event is good for the students and any time you can get free testing it's a winning
situation," Family Nurse Practitioner Kathe Conner said. "Usually students worry about testing showing up on their medical records but this is confidential and will not show up on medical charts."

     One student sees the free testing as an opportunity that many should make the most out of.

     If people can take advantage of free food then they should definitely want to take advantage of free STI testing, senior Beth Agho-Otoghile said

     HIV/AIDS and RPR (syphilis) tests are done through blood work, Conner said. It is a rapid test, which makes results available in twenty minutes.

     The test for Chlamydia and Gonorrhea is taken by a urine specimen, Conner said. This takes about a week for results. The health department will have these results available by phone. When the sample is collected the student will receive a card, including the number to
call and an individual pin number to retrieve results.

     If Chlamydia and Gonorrhea results are positive the student will be directed to the University Clinic for treatment, Conner said.

     "The health department has provided the medications to us free of charge to the students," she said.

     There will be a Shannon Support Service booth set up for HIV management and any questions students may have, Conner said.

     "The Shannon Support Service manages the HIV cases in town, providing medications, long-term counseling and they monitor how patients are doing on their medication," she said.

     World AIDS Day is Dec. 1. The clinic will be passing out red ribbons for awareness as well

      "What you don't know can hurt you," Agho-Otoghile said. "It is important to get tested because you should care about your well being. I have gotten tested once and it encouraged my friend to get tested. I did it to encourage my friends. People are afraid of the truth or what could be the truth so it takes one person to take that fear away."

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