Know Your Status: Free STI Testing

Image courtesy of the Student Health Advisory Committee

UCLA’s Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC), in partnership with the Ashe Center, the LGBT Campus Resource Center, and Live Well, is offering free and confidential STI testing to all students. Students now have access to testing for chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and HIV, regardless of whether or not they are covered by the UC system’s health insurance plan, UCSHIP. SHAC has hosted the event in years past, but this is the first year syphilis testing will be included.

To keep tests private, no charges or notes will be added to student’s BruinBill accounts. Free, confidential testing is important because “there are many barriers students may face when attempting to access care for sexual health,” says Karina Keus, SHAC’s undergraduate representative. Keus added that “Two important barriers are financial ability and privacy.” Removing these obstacles may help students get the healthcare they need.

Partnership with the LGBT Campus Resource Center is especially important because sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis disproportionately affect the LGBT community.

Keus emphasizes that STIs “are not only a personal infection, but also a public health issue.” She added that this event is part of SHAC’s effort to help individuals access the care they need and better the overall health of the community.

The free tests are offered through Feb. 28, 2017. Tests can be ordered through the student health online portal and must be completed by the 28th to be free of charge. However, SHAC’s Graduate Representative Talia Stol believes that it is worth noting that STI tests only cost $3 year round for students covered by UCSHIP, while HIV tests are always free of charge for all students.

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