Free STI and HIV testing and counseling is available for Eastern Michigan University students on the second and fourth Monday of every month at the Student Center.
The now-closed Snow Health Center offered free testing and HIV counselors, but after the IHA Health Center opened, the testing was no longer free nor confidential.
Amy Finkenbine, an LGBT Resource Center Program Coordinator, partnered with the Office of Wellness and Community Responsibility and the nonprofit organization Unified to bring confidential, free testing to campus in the hopes of more involvement within the student body.
“People that talk to the same sex don't often recieve adequate sex education to understand you can still have risks with certain things,” Finkenbine said. “And our goal is to provide programming throughout the year as well as the testing service because understanding your status is the best way to prevent the spread of STIs and HIV.”
Finkenbine knows about the stigma among teenagers about getting tested for STIs and HIV, and she believes that everyone should be informed about STI prevention.
“Taking that step of being proactive with your health and that’s what we’re trying to help students overcome is get the information that you need,” Finkenbine said.
November’s appointments are fully booked, but Finkenbine recommends that students call the Michigan STI Hotline for information available 24/7. The free testing and counseling will continue into next semester.
“You can call them to get information or counseling from trained professionals around your status or to answer questions you may have,” Finkenbine said. “It also directs people to the closest testing resource for them.”
World Aids Day is recognized every year on Dec. 1 to bring awareness and support to people living with HIV/AIDS and to educate about HIV prevention. To learn more about this event or to schedule an appointment, please visit tiny.emich.edu/gyt. The Michigan STI Hotline can be reached at 1-800-872-2437.