Established 1826 — Oldest College Newspaper West of the Alleghenies

Free HIV testing offered in recognition of World Aids Day

Miami's Student Health Services and the Women*s and LGBTQ* Center are currently offering HIV testing on campus.

The Women*s Center is providing multiple educational events, including free HIV testing, on Friday, Dec. 1 in honor of World Aids Day.

World Aids Day is an international initiative founded in 1988 to show support for those living with HIV and commemorate those who have passed away from an AIDS-related illness. This year's theme is #LetsEndIt.

Elisabeth Dodd, a senior intern at The Women*s' Center, hopes the World Aids Day events will increase awareness at Miami.

"[HIV has] really been othered [stigmatized] as something that doesn't happen here," said Dodd.

She believes HIV is a prevalent problem on Miami's campus and that people are not adequately educated about the disease.

The Women*s Center will sponsor a screening of "deepsouth," a documentary about the neglected HIV/AIDS crisis in the rural American South. The Center will also host an HIV educational table and provide HIV testing throughout World Aids Day. All events are free for students.

Testing was been offered by The Women*s Center, located on the third floor of Armstrong in Room 3012, earlier this semester and received a large turnout, Dodd said.

"[I] was only there for any hour and saw at least 30 people [being tested]," said Dodd.

Student Health Services encourages students that may have engaged in unprotected sex, had sex with multiple partners, are beginning a new relationship, are planning on traveling overseas or desire a peace of mind to get tested.

If students are unable to make the special Women's Center event, HIV testing is also offered regularly at Student Health Services.

The HIV testing at Student Health Services involves two phases: an educational session about the transmission of HIV followed by the Clear View Rapid Antibody test for HIV 1 and 2. The entire appointment takes an hour.

The total cost of the appointment at Student Health Services includes the lab test and an office visit charge based on the complexity of the case. Student Health Services will bill the student's insurance company for the charges.

To arrange an appointment at the Health Center, call Health Services at (513)-529-3000 and request to schedule an HIV test. The appointment only requires a Miami ID and insurance card.

By offering and publicizing the testing, The Women*s Center is "working to destigmatize STI's, including HIV," said Dodd.