Student Health offers free STD, HIV screenings

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Marshall University Student Health Education Programs and the Cabell Huntington Health Department will provide free  and confidential human immunodeficiency virus and STD testing March 8 and 9 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in Prichard Hall.

The screening will include an interview, urine analysis, HIV testing by an oral swab and possible blood drawn. Appointments are not necessary and walk-ins are welcome.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, regardless of race or gender, data show sexually active adolescents and young adults are at increased risk for STDs when compared to older adults.

CDC data of STDs among young people 15 to 24 years of age in West Virginia in 2013 alone show there were 3,779 cases of chlamydia, 567 cases of gonorrhea and five cases of syphilis. 

People of the same age group are likely to acquire half of all new STDs, and one in four sexually active young females in that age category already have an STD. Young adolescents are at a greater risk for catching STDs than older adults, because of a number of reasons including behavioral, biological and cultural factors.

Acknowledging STDs in the community is a way to focus on the problem and help the public health community try to prevent and treat cases accordingly. The CDC states multiple barriers like inability to pay, lack of transportation and embarrassment may prevent some college students from getting checked regularly.

SHEP is a free resource that provides wellness opportunities, substance abuse prevention and health education to Marshall University students. Its goal is to help students achieve wellness through the promotion of healthy lifestyle habits and choices. Logan Parkulo can be contacted at [email protected]