The Health Services here at Kean University hope to serve its students and to inform them of opportunities that can benefit them mentally, physically and emotionally. On Wednesday Nov. 29, from 1 to 4 p.m. the Health Services will open services to students. The services will include free HIV testing, gonorrhea and chlamydia testing.
Alice Colalillo, the program assistant of health service wants to support students' health and wellness needs. As opposed to making an appointment, this is a chance to walk in and to walk out with a sense of relief.
"It is important in two ways. First, to keep yourself healthy for now and in the future. STI's left untreated increase your risk factors for things like infertility, cancer, pain, weakened immune system; all of which may affect your life later on immensely. Second, for your partners. To be sexually active should also translate into being sexually responsible. Learning about safer sex methods and regular testing is necessary to be sexually responsible."
HIV is transmitted through the exchange of blood and bodily fluids. It is recommended that high-risk individuals get tested at least once a year. High-risk individuals are those that have multiple sex partners, have unprotected sex, and/or use intravenous drugs. And the Health Services want students to be aware and safe.
"We provide free HIV testing. This is a blood test that involves a simple, quick finger stick, results are available in 20-30 minutes. Gonorrhea & Chlamydia Testing $9.50 per site- We can do a urine test and/or an oral swab test. STI counseling - Clinicians screen for additional testing that can be provided by our office," Colalillo explained.
The Health Services wants to emphasize that testing is an easy and simple process that should be taken into consideration. Perks of taking an HIV test is the price and the confidentiality that a student and health provider has. Testing is done with a rapid test kit. Only a small drop of blood is needed and results are available within 20 minutes.
She wants students to understand that taking advantage of this opportunity is essential to have a piece of mind and a sense of security.
"If you are free during the hours of the event, it is convenient, quick, and confidential. Students can look forward to light snacks and beverages while they wait for results. We usually have a movie playing to help the time go by. Insurance plans may be used for testing. Please note, it is the student's responsibility to verify insurance coverage and laboratory preference (Labcorp or Quest)."
Colalillo spoke of the process to come up with an event for the students and Kean community.
"The idea was a group effort that included clinical and professional staff. We wanted an event that highlighted STI testing. Although it is a service we offer everyday at Student Health Services, we wanted to offer events to make it convenient for students to get regular testing done and to make them more aware of our services in the office."
Students can call the Health Services office at 908-737-4880, if they have any questions or concerns.