Last Thursday, 112 individuals were tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) during a free testing event hosted by the AIDS and Sexual Health Awareness (ASHA) student group. 110 chlamydia and gonorrhea tests, 83 syphilis tests, and 61 HIV tests, including a 20-minute counseling session, were administered. 85 percent of those tested were Wesleyan students.
While test results are confidential, the event was not free of positive tests, according to ASHA STI Testing Coordinator Susanna Banks ’13.
“Student turnout was about the same as it usually is at our testing events,” Banks wrote in an email to The Argus. “We generally expect between 100 and 150 students. This year, however, we had a larger turnout of community members.”
The event took place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Green Street Arts Center, a location specifically chosen because of its accessibility to the Middletown community. Thursday’s event was sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Public Health, which provided medical staff and paid for treatment if patients tested positive.
ASHA, which focuses on a range of issues related to sexual health, organizes a free testing event each semester. Last semester’s event took place at the Eclectic Society House.
“I think that the event was a success,” Banks wrote. “I think any time more than 100 people come out to support their sexual health, it is a great success. However, I am sure that there are many more sexually active students who are not getting tested for sexually transmitted diseases, and one of our goals for next year is to make testing more accessible to students.”