Trinity University Health Services set up a sexually transmitted disease awareness table in Mabee Dining Hall on April 10, in recognition of STD awareness month.
“The nurses at the table were there to dispel myths about STDs,” said Jackie Bevilacqua, coordinator of Health Services. “The nurses also gave away something in order to encourage awareness.”
Health Services also coordinated with the San Antonio AIDS Foundation to offer free HIV testing outside Mabee on the same day. The STD testing van offered students on-the-spot testing with results within 20 minutes using a cheek swab.
The San Antonio AIDS foundation offers free testing every day, while Health Services usually charges for STD testing.
“They even offer anonymous testing at the San Antonio AIDS Foundation,” Bevilacqua said. “If people feel uncomfortable coming in to Health Services, they can go to the San Antonio AIDS Foundation any time.”
According to Bevilacqua, the goal behind STD awareness month is to make students aware of their risk factors for getting an STD if they are sexually active.
Health Services also gave away free testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea.
“We’re always available to do testing or answer questions,” Bevilacqua said.
In order to publicize the event, Health Services sent flyers to residence halls, placed ads in LeeRoy and the Trinitonian, and put up banners in Coates and Mabee.
“We are trying to raise awareness and encourage people to get tested,” Bevilacqua said. “I encourage everyone who is or has been sexually active to get tested at least once a year. If your risk factors are particularly high you can talk about what to do about that with a nurse. Everyone who is sexually active has a risk factor and should get tested.”
Health Services is open Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and is closed on Saturday.
Caleb Franzmann is a News reporter for the Trinitonian.