CSU’s annual Get Yourself Tested Campaign has started. This campaign offers 50 percent certain STI tests to full-time CSU students. The tests include ones like chlamydia and gonorrhea, some of the more common STIs. CSU does a great job encouraging students to be sexually healthy by holding campaigns like this, which are obviously useful as it have been brought back for the past couple of years.
There are probably plenty of people who take advantage of these discounted tests. With knowledge that sex is happening on CSU’s (and most college’s) campus and knowing the need and demand for such tests, wouldn’t it be great if CSU (like some other colleges) offered free STI testing?
There are certain facts about college that most people can agree on. Like the fact that it is a really great time in your life. The fact that during these four or more years, you learn a lot about yourself and the people you surround yourself with. The fact that purchasing a stapler can be the best decision you make during your college career. Oh, and we can’t forget the fact that many people are having sex while in college. Whether we like it or not, college is a place where much sexual activity happens. At times, lack of sexual education and not so good choices can lead to blurred vision of what being sexually healthy really is.
Being sexually healthy means having knowledge about sex and the things that come with sex, like STIs. This means protecting yourself and getting tested are very important. Many relationships in college might not be what we consider exclusive, and while this is all fine and dandy, we need to make sure that the rights steps are being taken in order keep your body healthy (someone else is going to have to write about keeping yourself mentally healthy while in a non-exclusive relationship, I’m not touching that with a 60 foot pole). Free STI testing would enable everyone to get tested, without having to worry about whether or not the cost was 50 percent off.
I love the Get Yourself Tested Campaign and everything it stands for. The promotion of sexual health without shame and snippets of educational information on the posters put up around campus is almost as good as it can get. If this campaign promoted free STI or just reminded students that they have free STI testing available to them, then it would be the best. While there should never be shame in being conscious about your body and what is going on in it, there also should never be shame in having to worry about if financially you can be conscious about what is going on in your body.
Education and availability are key to making change. We have to be honest about the fact that since there is a need for such tests, we can do something to make them available to everyone. Yes, it is true that some tests are much more expensive than others, which is why I think we should do a test run on some of the more common tests, such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. I am sure (and really hope) that the turn-out will be successful, and maybe then we can make changes when it comes to the other, more expensive tests.
STIs can have a terrible effect on your body, even ones like Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. We do not want the only reason that people decided not to get tested to be money. That is just silly. Especially when we know these are the most common and people are getting tested for them. And, since it is required that students get health insurance, why don’t we have some perks that we know are going to be beneficial to students? That we know students are actually going to use?
The issue with free STI testing isn’t whether students are going to use it or not, it’s why we do not already have it. Many other campuses offer this to their students, and I cannot help but wonder why CSU does not? Yes, some people will disagree with this viewpoint. They will argue that “If people are able to have sex, they should be able to pay for testing!” While parts of this argument may be true, I want you to think about all the people who pay for the gym, are able to use it, but don’t. All the people who pay for parking, are able to use and can’t even find a spot. This is something that people will actually use. We already know that. We just need to make sure that they are able to use it, whether its discounted or not. We need to insure that we promote sexual health (as well as other health concerns) to the best of our ability, and free STI testing would be a great step towards doing this. And if free tests mean better health for everyone, what are we still waiting for?
Shanel Hughes is a senior who would love to see free STI testing on campus. Feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
CSU does a great job of promoting sexual health and we could do better
CSU should offer free STI testing to make it available and affordable to everyone
Free STI would be a service that would be used, unlike other service we pay for and offer on campus