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STI screenings to be offered in DUC

| Contributing Reporter

Free STI screenings will be available in the Danforth University Center this Thursday from 12 to 3 p.m. in room 232.

The yearly event, co-sponsored by Phi Lambda Psi, Habif Health and Wellness Center, The Spot, Washington University’s School of Medicine and LGBT Student Involvement and Leadership, gives students the opportunity to get their urine and blood tested for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis.

Studies have shown 50 percent of sexually active young adults have an STI by the time they are 25, and many may not even realize it.

Although STI screenings are always available in Student Health Services, this event offers student a quick and convenient way to find out more about their sexual health.

“It’s not often that there is a free STI clinic,” Phi Lambda Psi member and senior Christina Wang said. “There are a couple in St. Louis…but most expect you to have insurance and pay for it through insurance, and although SHS has it, a lot of people don’t realize that.”

Christine Dolan, coordinator of LGBT Student Involvement and Leadership, stressed the importance of knowing STI status.

“It’s important to know our status, whether we want to keep that private or not, just for us to be able to know that and keep ourselves and others safe,” Dolan said.

Phi Lambda Psi and the Peer Health Educators have been largely involved in public relations and advertising, while SHS has largely been responsible for coordinating the logistics of tests and hiring certified people to administer them.

Volunteers for Phi Lambda Psi will be in the waiting room giving out information, directing traffic and encouraging people to get tested.

One of the concerns towards public STI screening events such as this is confidentiality.

“The results are definitely confidential, because all that happens is they take the samples and it’s shipped off to a lab,” Wang said. “You call into that lab, and they will tell you what your results are.”

According to Wang, the lab is completely separate from Washington University, which should add a layer of security, although students might still be recognized in the waiting room.