Get Yourself Tested!

Getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is one of the most important things that you can do for your health. STIs are at an all-time high, especially for college-aged students, and an untreated STI can cause harm to your body. Lucky for us, getting tested on campus is easier than peeling an orange. Get Yourself Tested for STIs with a few easy steps!

Why should I get tested?

STIs are common among college-aged students. One in two sexually active persons will get an STI by the age 25. The Barnes Center at The Arch staff recommend STI testing after participating in unprotected sex (oral, anal and/or vaginal). This is because many STIs are asymptomatic, meaning they don’t show any symptoms, but can still be transmitted to anyone you have sexual contact with. The effects of an untreated STI can be harmful to your health and can cause additional health problems or concerns, so it’s always a good idea to get tested.

How do I get tested?

It’s SO quick and easy! The entire process is low key, discrete and like you were never there – if that’s what you’re hoping for.

  1. Make an appointment at the Barnes Center at The Arch.
    1. STI testing is always free for students who are enrolled in SU’s student health insurance plan.
  2. Go to your appointment in the health clinic on the second floor.
  3. Sign in either electronically, or let the front desk know you’re there for an appointment.
  4. In an exam room (where you would get any other type of appointment) a health professional will ask you a few questions about your sexual history from the past six months. This helps to identify risk and what type of testing is needed. The answers you give are completely confidential and judgement free. Medical professionals don’t think twice about your sexual history. They just want to have the information they need to give you the best care possible.
    1. Depending on the type of sex you’re having, there are three different test types:
      1. Urine sample
      2. Blood test (finger prick)
      3. Swabs (throat and/or rectal)
  5. You will receive your results within a week. When your results are ready, you will be sent an email stating that you’ve received a secure message on the Patient Portal (so there’s no mention of STI testing popping up in your notifications) or you will get a call describing positive results and treatment options.

Get Yourself Tested (GYT) Days

GYT is a national movement encouraging young people to get tested for STIs. The Barnes Center, in partnership with Student Association, offers free GYT Days throughout the year for students who do not have SU health insurance. This year, GYT Days are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., in the Barnes Center on the second floor during these dates:

  • Thursday, Sept. 19 and Friday, Sept. 20
  • Thursday, Nov. 14 and Friday, Nov. 15
  • Thursday, Feb. 13 and Friday, Feb. 14
  • Thursday, April 16 and Friday, April 17

Keep in mind that these days are first come, first serve! I recommend going as early as possible to avoid a long wait time or being turned away.

Will my parents find out?

For a GYT Day, the results will only appear on the Patient Portal, which only you can see – unless you’ve shared access with others. If you have, you can always change permissions on MySlice.

For testing done during an appointment at the Barnes Center, if you have SU student health insurance, the insurance is in your own name, so your parents do not have access to your medical information. Otherwise, it depends on your specific insurance. To find out their procedures and policies, you can call the phone number on your insurance card and ask.

How do I prevent STIs?

You can prevent STIs by using barrier methods (condoms and dental dams) and have a discussion with your partner(s) about their sexual health histories and how you can practice safer sex together! The Barnes Center at The Arch always has free safer sex supplies available, but you can also order free safer sex supplies to be delivered to your on-campus residence hall, including Sky Halls, or for pick-up at the Barnes Center with Safer Sex Express.

So now that you know how to take control of your sexual health, go Get Yourself Tested with confidence! Make an appointment through the Patient Portal. Have more questions? Contact the Barnes Center at The Arch!

Written by Tara Kietly ’20, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Peer Educator Encouraging Healthy Relationships and Sexuality