Daily Egyptian

Wellness and Health Promotion Services to provide free and quick STI/STD testing

By Clair Cowley, Staff Writer

The university’s Wellness and Health Promotion Services invites students on April 2 to participate in the resource center’s event for national STD and STI awareness month.

Senior Javiana Conley studying sports administration and committee chair of  Delta Sigma Theta said the sorority helped plan the event.

The celebration will be at the First Floor Rotunda Lounge in Morris library. There will be information about STD’s and STI’s, free food, games, and quick STI/STD testing from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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Joel Hamilton, a graduate assistant in the Sexual Health office at the Student Health Center said the goal of this event is to raise awareness about transmission, detection, and treatment options surrounding sexually transmitted diseases and sexually transmitted infections.

Health representatives from on and off campus health centers will be at the event.

“there has not been any significant increase or decrease in STI’s over the last five years [at the university],” Hamilton said. “Students have accessed the routine STI testing well over the five years, which has increased the numbers for testing.”

Although more people are getting tested for STD’s, the percentage of positive test results match the national average of positive STI test results, Hamilton said.

Mikala Barrett, a junior studying political science and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority member reserved the location to raise awareness of STDs she said.

Barrett said she believes every college campus has problems with STI’s and STD’s because students are in a new environment at a new stage of their life.

“They don’t have their parents trying to control them or friends telling them, ‘hey you can’t do this’, ‘you can’t do that,” Barrett said. “They have nothing but freedom and opportunity.”

At the event, The Community Action Place will be providing optional HIV and Hepatitis C testing with help from the university’s Student Health Center.

Testing will be done behind a curtain for privacy as physicians take a blood sample Hamilton said.  

“In the case of a positive testing, representatives from the Student Health Centers, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), will be available if support is needed,” Hamilton said.

Hamilton said if an individual is in a monogamous relationship and they are using safe sex practices, he recommends they get tested for STD’s and STI’s every six months.

If an individual has multiple sexual partners, they recommend they get tested for STD’s and STI’s every three months or before their next sexual partner, Hamilton said.

“Research shows that 50% of individuals that have an STD or STI will show no symptoms, so getting testing is something to consider,” Hamilton said.

There are outine testing options for HIV, syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea. These services have been available to students for over 30 years, Hamilton said.

There is currently a ten dollar fee for getting tested at the Student center and you can make an appointment online, over the phone or in-person, according to Hamilton.

For the event, Conley created an STD dice game for students to demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks.

“To put it together I had to think outside of the box. I didn’t want this event to be just a sit down where students hear what I have to say and don’t take anything away. It’s like learning by having fun,” Conley said.

Conley said learning targets in the game are to examine the consequences of being sexually active, identify STDs and tell how they are passed from person to person with the use of a die.

“We explain that for this simulation, every time they rolled the die they were having unprotected vaginal sex,” Conley said. “Every time someone has unprotected sex their chance of contracting an STD increases.”

In addition to the free food and games, there will be a grand prize raffle drawing.

In order to be entered into the raffle, individuals must stop at the information table where participants can fill out a card with their contact information, Hamilton said.

Participants in the rally must visit all the tables at the event and have their card stamped at each table. Once all the stamps are received, participants can the card into the information table.

Staff writer Clair Cowley can be reached at [email protected]

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