For Tech students concerned about their sexual health, the staff at Tech’s Health and Wellness Center offers testing for STDs.
Sexually transmitted diseases are at an all-time high in the U.S. More than two million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis were reported in the United States in 2016, the highest number ever, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Figures for 2017 are expected to be released later this month.
Students can schedule an appointment for testing online or call the Health and Wellness Center office at 479- 968-0329, said Brandye Bisek, director of health service for the center.
“We encourage them to have a screening every semester if they are sexually active, regardless of symptoms. Of course, we do want them to come for testing if they have symptoms,” Bisek said.
“We test for gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV and syphilis,” she added.
“We give them the condoms and STD cards whether they test positive or negative,” Bisek said. “We encourage testing whether or not they are sexually active frequently or not. We give them the information (condoms and STD info cards) when they come for testing,” she said.
“We offer a free STD screening once a semester. If they need testing again in the same semester, there is a $50 charge.”
If students test positive, “we see them for a follow up to ensure treatment was effective. We do not give STD cards or condoms at this visit unless they request them. However, free condoms are always available to our students. They just request them here in the clinic,” Bisek said.
For students hesitant about coming into the clinic to get tested, there is a link called “Ask the Nurse” on the Health and Wellness page. Bisek responds to students through that link, which offers help to students who do not feel comfortable talking about personal medical issues face to face. However, “that is not meant to substitute for medical care,” she said.
Additional information about the variety of services offered by the Health and Wellness Center is available at https://www.atu.edu/hwc/.