Northern Virginia Daily (04.03.13)
Shenandoah University (SU) and the Lord Fairfax Health District in Winchester, Va., are joining forces to support April as STD Awareness Month. SU’s Wilkins Wellness Center offers free and confidential STD testing three or four times a year. Ron Stickley, director of health services at the wellness center, commented that April, as STD Awareness Month, is an ideal time for one of these annual free testing offers. Stickley said he does as much as he can around the campus to educate students on the importance of sexual health through lectures, screenings, and e-mails. The free screening will be held toward the end of the month and is a simple urine test, which would normally cost approximately $150. Stickley emphasized that the test is completely confidential and only the organization doing the testing and the student know the result. He sees the results, but not the identity of the person who took the test. Stickley credited the health department for its willingness to set up an appointment for students who could not make the testing on campus.
Dr. Charles Devine, director of the health district, noted that recent data show an increase in the number of reported chlamydia cases is in the area. He said that to prevent the increase in the number of infections, the key is finding people with an STD and treating them before they unknowingly spread their disease to others. Devine acknowledged that even if a person does not notice STD symptoms, he/she could still be infected. He commented that college students are not the only ones who should be screened, as an increasing number of baby boomers are being diagnosed with STDs. Devine believed that it is appropriate and proper for the health district to make STD diagnosis and treatment easily available. He also wanted individuals engaging in sexual activity to recognize that there are risks involved as well as prevention and treatment solutions.
For information about testing or to schedule an appointment with the health district, call (540) 722–3470.
For information on SU screenings, call (540) 665–4530, extension 191, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.