Sophomore Mara Krueger knows how important it is for students to be tested for sexually transmitted infections.
“One in two people under the age of 25 will get an STI. That’s a really high number. I think it’s important to know your status,” Krueger said. “If you’re going to be sleeping with more than one person, it’s good to know your status and get checked every six months.”
Krueger is a volunteer coordinator at the Women’s Resource Center at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and said students need to be proactive about getting tested.
“Family Planning Health Services is a resource that we direct people to for testing. I think that this is something that they try to do every semester. They tell us about it, so we can inform people and do walkovers to the clinic,” Krueger said.
In addition to providing STI testing, Family Planning Health Services promotes good health and safe sex, Krueger said. Health Services, located in Delzell Hall, offers on campus STI testing.
Anna Brukner, senior healthcare administration and Spanish major, interned at Family Planning Health Services and is now working for Health Services on campus as the reproductive health peer educator.
“We definitely try to advocate safe sex and getting yourself tested. Health services offers condoms, birth control and STI screenings,” Brukner said.
Brukner said Chlamydia, HPV and Herpes are more common STI’s.
“I think that as college kids experimenting, it is important for you and your partner to be open about talking about STI’s, Brukner said. “Whether you have a monogamous partner or not, getting yourself regularly tested is a good idea.”
Brukner also said she advocates students use protection during intercourse.
“Part of our goal in reducing STI’s on campus is doing our condom fairy program, which is a discrete way to give students condoms on campus. We deliver them to the dorms on the campus,” Brukner said.
Jen Sorenson works with Brukner and is UWSP’s administrative director of student Health Services.She said tudents can have free access for STI testing through health services, but only if they sign up for the Family Planning Waiver, which is state insurance for women with low incomes.
“Many of our students do chose to sign up for the family planning waiver program because it not only covers STI costs, but it covers birth control costs and PAP smears,” Sorenson said.
Sorenson said she believes that sometimes young adults underestimate the negative effects of having unprotected sex.
“Prevention is always a focus of the healthcare that we provide,” Sorenson said.