Free STD tests offered to students
Free sexually transmitted disease testing will be available to students Wednesday, December 5 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Rainbow Center.
Blood and urine sample will be collected to test for chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis C and HIV. Students can choose to be tested for all of the listed STDs or just a selected few. In addition to testing free treatment is available for gonorrhea, syphilis and chlamydia.
This months testing is part of monthly free STD testing offered by the Student Health Services, and while it is limited to the first 20 people, students can get STD testing through other means on campus.
Patricia Moriarty, an advanced practice registered nurse at SHS, said, "Free STD testing is available monthly at various locations across the Storrs campus," she added, "A student can also obtain STD testing through an appointment as a patient at Student Health Services which is a billable visit to the student's insurance company."
Moriarty explained that the testing done through SHS consist of taking urine, blood and saliva samples. Gonorrhea and chlamydia are tested for via a urine sample, and patients are asked not to urinate an hour beforehand. Syphilis and hepatitis C are tested for using a blood sample and a mouth swab is used to test for HIV.
The Center for Disease Control's Sexual Transmitted Disease Surveillance 2010 found that adolescents age 15 to 24 account for nearly half of all new STD cases despite being only 25 percent of the sexually experienced population.
In 2010 rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea showed an increase from 2009. With the rates of chlamydia increasing
2.8 percent for ages 15 to 19 and 7.5 percent for ages 20 to 24 and rates of gonorrhea increasing 1.4 percent for ages 15 to 19 and 4.9 percent for ages 20-24. Women, ages 20 to 24 were found to have the highest rates of chlamydia and women ages 15 to 19 had the highest rates of gonorrhea of all age and sex groups.
The report pointed to behavior, biology and culture as the reason why adolescents, and young adults are at a higher risk of contracting an STD. It also suggested barriers to accessing STD prevention may also contribute to the high STD rates.
More information about STD testing can be found at shs.uconn.edu.
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