The Student Health Center is promoting the importance of year-round STI screenings with a new campaign. The campaign, It’s Worth Knowing, has been promoted via flyers and signs throughout campus, as well as online.
The campaign emphasizes the importance of all sexually active students to take an STI test at least once every semester.
Testing takes 15 minutes and results come in after three days. Initial STI testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea costs $25 and testing for syphilis costs $17. Though with some insurance, testing may be free.
Due to grants from health groups, Share and SAMHSA, testing for HIV at the health center is free. Anonymous HIV testing is available as well, as are free condom packets for those that register for their first STI screenings.
Katie Gregorczyk, registered nurse, said testing is a healthy option in order to stay safe and sure.
“It’s worth knowing for every student who is sexually active. There are so many STI’s that don’t show any symptoms,” Gregorczyk said. “So those that are sexually active could unknowingly spread it to their partner.”
According to health center officials, chlamydia is the most common STI at Texas State. The disease itself often shows no symptoms at all. However, it can be prevented with the use of a condom or dental dam.
STI testing is especially important if one is with a new sexual partner. Failure to treat the disease promptly may lead to serious health issues.
As of Nov. 18, 2,614 STI tests have been taken at the student health center during Fall 2017. However, the marketing and promoting of the health center continues to try to encourage more people to, if not get tested, then to at least learn more about the subject.
According to Q’Anteria Roberson, coordinator of marketing and promotions for the student health center, social media is also now used as a tool by health center officials.
“One of the things we do to educate our students is to do a poll each week on social media on twitter that posts a question that directly relates to our college population on the subject,” Roberson said. “We get a lot of participation on that and we follow up with answering the questions with facts.”
The student health center website includes a section on STI’s with frequently asked questions. This helps students reluctant ask questions in person regarding the topic.