Creighton is continuing its program to offer free walk-in STD testing for students each month. The tests include a urine test for gonorrhea and chlamydia and a blood test for HIV.
On Oct. 14, the Student Health Education and Compliance Office held walk-in STD testing in the area of the Kiewit Fitness Center where COVID-19 testing was already being held.
Angela Maynard, associate director of Student Health Education and Compli- ance, said that in the past, free STD testing events have been offered in Markoe Hall and in partnership with the Douglas County Health Department.
“Due to the pandemic, the DCHD has suspended outreach activities, so [the student health] staff are providing testing. The specimens are transported to the DCHD,” Maynard said.
Maynard said that students are encouraged to fill out a release of information form, which allows the test results to be shared with student health.
“This allows [student health] staff to contact the student to arrange for treatment of infection,” Maynard said. “Pharmacologic treatment is provided free of charge in partnership with the Nebraska Infertility Prevention Project.”
Maynard said that it is important that Creighton offer free STD testing after student care was outsourced to the CHI Health Clinic.
As out-of-pocket costs increased for students, Maynard said the student health staff was “concerned that this might be a barrier to care.”
Hannah Gilboa, a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said that offering free STD testing to students is important for students’ overall health.
“Sexual health is important because it gives you the ability to make your own decisions about your own health, which I think can be really empowering,” Gilboa said.
Gilboa said that access to free or low-cost STD testing for students can be limited by cost, transportation and a stigma that surrounds STDs.
Because of this, Gilboa said that, while Creighton offering free STD testing once a month is a “step in the right direction,” she believes that more should be done for students’ sexual health.
“I think Creighton should definitely increase free and low-cost STD testing for everyone on campus,” Gilboa said.
“Students have made it clear that it is important that they have access to confidential, affordable care,” Maynard said, adding that “billing to insurance and out- of-pocket costs are a barrier to needed care.”
Maynard said there is another walk-in STD testing event planned for the week of Nov. 9.
“We will explore opportunities to con- tinue to offer this service,” Maynard said.