Free, anonymous HIV testing to be held at KSU health center

Allison Bray

DeWeese Health Center will be offering free anonymous HIV testing tomorrow. Students wishing to be tested must call DeWeese to schedule an appointment, but spots are limited, said Scott Dotterer, coordinator of the Office of Health Promotion.

Dotterer said while the health center provides room and space for testing, the Community AIDS Network, located in Akron, provides all the services. The network has been working with the health center for about five years, said Ray Leone, chief university physician of University Health Services.

To make an appointment, students must give their birth date, which is for scheduling purposes only. When they come to the health center, they will meet with a prevention specialist for about 15 minutes, get tested, and then be given an identification number, which they will use a week later to view their results, Dotterer said.

Kallie Kontras, sophomore fashion merchandising major, said having anonymous testing is a good idea.

“If students are contemplating getting tested, it’ll probably give them an extra push,” she said, adding that students “don’t have to worry or go off campus or pay for a test.”

“I think it’s a good idea because it’s important for people to be able to find out if they’re HIV positive,” said Michelle Parker, junior applied conflict management major. “You wouldn’t want your name broadcast to others.”

HIV, or human immunodeficiency virus, affects the immune system, Leone said. The more sexual partners one has, the higher the risk of getting HIV or another sexually transmitted disease.

“Condoms don’t protect against everything,” Leone said, adding that they are better than nothing.

The HIV tests will be administered using the OraSure method, which is the swabbing of cheek cells, Dotterer said.

If students are unable to go to the anonymous testing, University Health Services also offers confidential HIV testing through the Medical Services department, though there is a fee, Dotterer said. For this test, called the HIV Rapid Test, students give their name, though only for personal records. Results are available in about 10 minutes.

Additional free anonymous testing will be available Oct. 19 and Nov. 13.

Students wishing to schedule a test should call the Office of Health Promotion at (330) 672-2320 to schedule a time.

Contact health and medical reporter Allison Bray at [email protected].