LGBTQ+ Center to resume free HIV testing in the fall


LGBTQ+ All Are Welcome

Free HIV testing on campus has stopped for the semester, but will resume thorough the LGBTQ+ Center in the fall.

“Unfortunately, the testing has ended now that spring break has ended,” said Ken Ditlevson, director of the LGBTQ+ Center. “With all of our students retuning home and there only being virtual classes, the HIV testing sites have stopped. They’ll be resuming, at least in the LGBTQ+ Center, in the fall semester.”

Kent State has offered free HIV testing to the community for the past several academic years.

“It’s been through the LGBT Center, and we also made arrangements so that it could be offered through the Williamson House where the Women’s Center and the SRVSS office are located,” said Ditlevson.

Initially, DeWeese Health Center offered testing as well, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic the health center shifted its focus toward the virus. 

“I believe DeWeese Health Center is going to start doing testing again in the fall,” said Ditlevson. “When the COVID pandemic hit, they stopped doing a lot of things, including the [HIV] testing. So that’s when we started doing the testing on cite at the center. DeWeese will likely be picking that up now that COVID is becoming more manageable and not such a large focus of their work.”

HIV testing on campus is not just for those that identify as LGBTQ+. The Center will offer free testing to anyone that visits them.

“It’s all open and offered to everyone on our campus, including facility, staff and even community members; it’s not just for students or just students who identify,” said Ditlevson.

In order to get tested, one can simply show up without an appointment. Testing is a short process that usually takes no more than 15 minutes to complete.

The LGBTQ+ Center has not yet decided on official dates and times for fall testing.

“Were anticipating it will be once a week for a three- or four-hour timespan,” said Ditlevson.

In addition to the free HIV testing, the LGBTQ+ Center helps restock free condoms in the first floor bathrooms in the Student Center daily.

“It’s not just about testing; its preventing transmission, it’s about reducing your own risk and learning about how you can do that effectively. Getting free condoms, and if folks do test positive, getting help as soon as possible so you can stay safe and keep yourself healthy,” said Ditlevson.

For updates on the LGBTQ+ Center and free HIV testing in the fall, visit their home page here.

Chris Bright covers diversity. Contact him at [email protected].