WSU’s Get Yourself Tested event provides resources, testing to vulnerable population
In November, the Campus Health Center (CHC) tested 65 students at a Get Yourself Tested (GYT) event in two Wayne State University residence halls to help reduce sexually transmitted infections (STIs) on campus. CHC provided testing and health education in Ghafari Hall and Towers Residential Suites.
“The GYT campaign is an important program to make STI screening easily accessible to students. Many young adults have never been tested, and this brings the opportunity to be tested right where they live,” said Ann Rayford, chief nursing officer at the Campus Health Center. “CHC has partnered with the state of Michigan to offer eligible WSU students testing at no charge for nine years, testing 300-400 patients annually.”
The Campus Health Center collaborated with the College of Nursing to organize and run the event. Senior-level B.S.N. students provided free, confidential testing for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Confidential HIV testing was provided free of charge by CHC’s community partner Teen HYPE (Helping Youth by Providing Education).
“During a placement at the Campus Health Center, our nursing students get many population-based experiences in community/public health,” said Assistant Professor Joan Bickes, D.N.P., RN, who teaches Nursing 4120, Community Focused Nursing Practice. “It is anticipated that the students will take the concepts learned and experiences had during their clinical rotation in community/public health and incorporate them as they begin their nursing careers.”
The Campus Health Center also partnered with the Housing & Residential Life to have RAs and volunteers available in Atchison, DeRoy, Chatsworth, and University Towers to guide students interested in STI education and testing to Towers and Ghafari.
Also known as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), STIs affect people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. Males and females often do not have symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that 20 million new cases of STIs occur in the United States each year, with 50 percent of these new cases developing in those under the age of 25. The CDC also reports that last year’s rates of people infected with STIs are at an all-time high.
With STIs taking a particularly heavy toll on adolescents and young adults. CHC’s Get Yourself Tested event proved critical in reaching a vulnerable population.
“Student health leads to WSU student academic success. It is our job, as nursing students and faculty, to collaborate with departments and services on campus to keep our students healthy,” Bickes said.
The Campus Health Center is a full-service primary care clinic providing both preventative care and treatment for acute and chronic illnesses. For more information about CHC services, visit health.wayne.edu.
Don’t wait — get #teSTD