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The Observer

Campus offers free STI tests

The+risk+of+contracting+an+STI+increases+in+those+who+do+not+practice+safe+sex.+Condoms+like+those+pictured+above+can+lower+the+chances+of+an+STI%2C+although+it%0Ais+still+important+to+get+tested.
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Campus offers free STI tests

The risk of contracting an STI increases in those who do not practice safe sex. Condoms like those pictured above can lower the chances of an STI, although it
is still important to get tested.

The risk of contracting an STI increases in those who do not practice safe sex. Condoms like those pictured above can lower the chances of an STI, although it is still important to get tested.

The risk of contracting an STI increases in those who do not practice safe sex. Condoms like those pictured above can lower the chances of an STI, although it is still important to get tested.

The risk of contracting an STI increases in those who do not practice safe sex. Condoms like those pictured above can lower the chances of an STI, although it is still important to get tested.

Dez Rodriguez, Staff Reporter

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The Get Yourself Tested event offers free STI testing services to students in an attempt to increase awareness about sexually transmitted infections. The event is coming to campus May 8-9 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Student Medical and Counseling Clinic (SMaCC), and is co-hosted by the Wellness Center and SMaCC. According to Marissa Howat, director of wellness and health promotion at the Wellness Center, students can make an appointment for free testing at the Wellness Center before May 7. Walk-ins are also welcomed, but there may be a wait time.

“For individuals who are sexually active, testing is imperative,” Howat said.

Many people will not know they are infected because STIs often have no symptoms. Howat said in the United States, young people aged 15 to 24 years old acquire half of all new STIs.

The event includes screenings for the most common infections diagnosed in CWU students, which include chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV, according to Howat. Students can also request a test for other infections if they are experiencing different STI symptoms.

According to CWU’s website, STI test costs can range from $30 to $100 if not done during the free two-day event. The event also offers the chance to get tests done without it showing on insurance coverages, something a CWU student who requested to remain anonymous preferred.

“I was really scared of seeing what the results might be but it had to get done sooner or later,” said the student. “I was also worried about it showing on my parents’ insurance but it’s free for this event so that was really cool.”

The student said the test included a urine sample and only took 10 minutes. The results are usually available the next day. The student recommended the free testing to all students who are sexually active, especially those who have unprotected sex.

According to the American College Health Association (ACHA), using barrier methods, such as condoms, reduce the risk of STIs spreading by bodily fluids. ACHA recommends using only latex or polyurethane condoms labeled for HIV protection. The chance of acquiring an STI increases with unprotected sex, so students are advised to take precautions.

CWU’s website said some of the best practices to prevent STIs include having fewer “hookup” partners, using condoms correctly every time and getting a follow-up test after three months to test for HIV and herpes.

“The only way to know for sure if you have an STI is to get yourself tested,” Howat said. “We want to reduce the stigma around talking about testing with partners and friends, and remove barriers to sexually active students being tested regularly.”

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