The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

53° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Free HIV testing available at UA

Free HIV testing will be offered for students and campus community members today in the Career Services office in the Student Union Memorial Center.

The biannual free testing is hosted by Career Services in collaboration with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning Student Affairs and the Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation.

Testing will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in 20-minute intervals. The service is completely free, and students must email their top three time slots to hivstatusupdate@gmail.com.

LGBTQ Student Affairs and the ASUA Pride Alliance have collaborated with the SAAF in previous years to provide this service at the UA, and believe that it is important for everyone to be aware of where they stand when it comes to HIV and sexually transmitted diseases in general.

The SAAF testing is free. The testing is completely confidential and uses Clearview, a rapid testing technology that provides results within 15 minutes.
Alethea Do, prevention quality assurance and testing coordinator with SAAF, said that it is extremely important for college students to understand their status and get tested.

“College students are at risk for a number of STIs, and HIV is no different,” Do said. “The growing rates of human papillomavirus transmission on campuses, like the [UA], mean students are at a higher risk of contracting HIV.”

The SAAF’s mission is to create and sustain a healthier community through compassionate and comprehensive response to AIDS. It was founded in 1985 as the Tucson AIDS Project and has since been providing many services for people living with AIDS and for AIDS prevention.

“It’s important that college students understand their risk [and] are able to access the resources they need to minimize their risk if they so choose to and know their HIV status,” Do said.

Pride Alliance has been regularly involved and has attempted to advocate for LGBTQ youth by providing these tests.

Greg Daniels, co-director of Pride Alliance, said the free HIV testing is important for the local community.

“This is a vital service for queer students on campus, considering HIV rates continue to either stay the same or climb for many groups within our community,” Daniels said. “It is important we continue to offer testing events such as these to keep our students healthy and informed.”

Do will be in Career Services today to help students with testing and scheduling. Do said that the SAAF developed prevention programming to help eliminate the spread of HIV and to provide care programs to support people currently living with HIV/AIDS throughout Southern Arizona.

Do said that today’s service is important for everyone who chooses to take advantage of it.

“It’s an easy process where you have the opportunity to talk to a tester and identify your needs,” Do said. “Knowing your HIV status is the best way to determine a future free of HIV/AIDS.”

_______________

Follow Benny Sisson on Twitter.

More to Discover
Activate Search