The Fairfield University Wellness Center is offering free and confidential sexually transmitted infection (STI) testing throughout the month of April. Students can participate in the walk-in testing on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. now until April 30th.

The Health Center’s free testing is being offered in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Public Health Laboratory, which will manage the results of the lab tests. All asymptomatic students can be tested for both chlamydia and gonorrhea by providing a urine sample. Students who are experiencing symptoms of an STI should instead make an appointment with a nurse practitioner at the health center.

Located in Jogues Hall, the Student Health Center offers a variety of services to Fairfield students including medical appointments and a women’s clinic. Now, the Center is promoting sexual health through free STI testing. 

In an Instagram post from @fairfielduwellness, the Health Center provided more information on the importance of testing for sexually transmitted infections. In part, the post explains that STI testing is especially important for college-aged young adults.

“Chlamydia and gonorrhea are among the most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the U.S,” it reads. “Infection rates are highest among young adolescents and young adults of both sexes.” 

In the event that a student does test positive for an STI, the Health Center will provide care for the infected student. As explained in a health center flier, these infections are both treatable with antibiotics that the center can provide to students.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), STIs can be prevented in a number of ways. These include testing and treating infections in order to prevent transmission, abstinence and the use of condoms. As reported in a Mirror article from earlier this semester, university policy does not allow for the sale or distribution of contraceptives – including condoms – on campus.

Despite this policy, the Student Health Center does provide pregnancy testing in addition to testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections. The Center’s physicians can also prescribe oral contraceptives to patients “for certain gynecological conditions requiring hormonal treatment.”

In addition to the free STI testing available this month, students can visit the Health Center for HIV testing. The Instagram post reads: “Students interested in an HIV test will meet with the Student Health Center nurse practitioner to obtain a laboratory requisition for a blood draw and testing through Quest Diagnostics Laboratory.”

Student Health Center Director Julia Duffy was contacted and declined to comment for this story. Fairfield students interested in being tested can do so until Tuesday, April 30.

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