Home / Spring 2015 / VSU helps students avoid ‘spreading’ the love

VSU helps students avoid ‘spreading’ the love

by Zenobia Harris

Last week, VSU Health Services sponsored free HIV and STD testing as part of a week of events centered on safe sex, STD and HIV awareness.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend, VSU’s Health Services teamed up with Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity for “Safe Sex Week,” which featured events encouraging students to practice safe sex and get educated about STDs and HIV/AIDS.

At the end of the week, the health center offered free testing for sexually transmitted diseases. Starting with HIV testing on Feb. 12 in the Student Union and free chlamydia and gonorrhea testing on Feb. 13 at the VSU Health Center.

“It’s important, because, let’s be real…college students are [sexually] active,” one VSU student said. “It’s important that when having sex, whether casual or in a relationship, that you and your partner get tested.

“No one wants something that is fatal. It’s important to be safe and
knowledgeable about stuff like this.”

Chelsea Holcombe, a health educator who works with VSU’s Health Promotions Services, also said that it’s important for VSU students to take advantage of free testing opportunities.

“Two-thirds of all STDs occur in people 25 years of age or younger,”
Holcombe said. “It is important to offer these services to students because many students do not have the financial means to get tested.
With the help of the South Health District/Georgia Department of Public Health, we are able to provide this testing free of charge to all students.

“We encourage all students to take advantage of the free testings because many individuals who have contracted an STD often do not exhibit symptoms. Our goal is to help eliminate the stigma associated with STDs and provide free resources and education so that students can make informed decisions about their sexual activity,” Holcombe said.

A study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention also showed that college-aged adults around the ages of 20-24 are at a higher risk of acquiring STDs than older adults.

Holcombe wants students to know that the Student Health Center provides free chlamydia and gonorrhea testing several times a semester. Upcoming testing dates are Feb. 27, March 13, April 10 and April 24 from 1-1:45 p.m. and April 2 from 6:30-7:15 p.m. at the Student Health Center.

Free HIV testing is done once a semester. The next HIV testing will be in conjunction with World Aids Day on Dec. 1.

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