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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcats get tested for STDs on Mall

Alex+Kulpinski+%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0ANoel+Valle%2C+Case+Manager+of+the+Pima+County+Health+Family+Planning+Division%2C+signs+a+student+up+for+a+free+STD+test+on+the+UA+Mall+Wednesday+afternoon.
Alex Kulpinski
Alex Kulpinski / Arizona Daily Wildcat Noel Valle, Case Manager of the Pima County Health Family Planning Division, signs a student up for a free STD test on the UA Mall Wednesday afternoon.

UA community members aimed to show the importance of STD and HIV testing within the student body Wednesday at the Get Yourself Tested Resource Fair.

The event, hosted by Campus Health Service, was held on the UA Mall and featured a variety of organizations including the Pima County Health Department, Southern Arizona AIDS Foundation and Planned Parenthood, which offered various testing resources and information. Event organizers hoped to educate sexually active students about the importance of getting tested and explain the consequences if they don’t, according to Lee Ann Hamilton, assistant director of Health Promotion and Preventive Services at Campus Health.

In order to educate students, several tables at the fair provided information regarding safe sex and STDs. The Pima County Health Department also provided free testing on the Mall for chlamydia and gonorrhea.

“We want people to know that you can’t tell just by looking at someone if they have an STD,” said Carolyn Hardesty, a health educator at Campus Health who coordinated the event. “The only way to know is to get tested. We just want to bring awareness to the importance of getting tested.”

Students sat outside the Pima County Mobile Clinic as they waited for their chance to get tested. Those who were tested gave urine samples to clinic employees and provided their contact information so the employees could notify them regarding their results.

“We really support teens and young adults in getting tested and treated if they have STDs,” said Dr. Shauna Mcisaac, medical director of the family planning program at the Pima County Health Department. “I think the main benefit of this is mainly education and providing services in an easily accessible avenue.”

Some students said they saw the benefits of having free testing available on campus.

“I think it’s important to get tested at least once a year,” said Emily Edlund, a pre-business freshman who got tested at the fair. “I feel this event is important because a lot of people are scared to get tested or ask their parents for money to get tested.”

Other students visited the tables set up on the Mall and received an assortment of items, including condoms and lube. Attendees were also encouraged to take a quiz to test their knowledge of STDs.
Some of the students who stopped at the Campus Health table spoke about the need to increase sexual health knowledge among students as well as increased STD education.

“I learned that 1 in 2 sexually active people will have gotten an STD by the age of 25,” said Ashley Miranda, a freshman studying molecular and cellular biology and Spanish. “If people don’t know these things, they won’t get tested, but if they do then they will, so it’s safer for everybody.”

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