45 students get HIV tests

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Peer Educators Michael Lozano, radiology sophomore, and Jesus Interiano, music business sophomore, tell Melissa Padilla, interpreter training sophomore, that it’s important to get tested for HIV.  Photo by Alma Linda Manzanares

Peer Educators Michael Lozano, radiology sophomore, and Jesus Interiano, music business sophomore, tell Melissa Padilla, interpreter training sophomore, that it’s important to get tested for HIV. Photo by Alma Linda Manzanares

By CARLOS FERRAND

sac-ranger@alamo.edu 

Studying and being prepared are two keys to success in testing. The same is true with preventing the spread of HIV.

Peer Educators hosted free HIV testing Oct. 25-26 by Hope Action Care, a nonprofit community-based organization.

With a simple swab of the gums, students were able to get results in 20 minutes.

More than 45 students were tested over the two days.

Hope Action Care has tested at this college before, but the most they tested in a single day was 10, said program manager Danielle Leal.

“The most we have ever got in a community college was 32, so it was a really successful event for SAC,” she said.

Testing is important as the HIV rate is increasing among those 18-25 years of age.

“More people are engaging in higher risk activities and not knowing what they’re putting themselves at risk for,” she said.

High-risk activities include sharing drug needles or having unprotected sex.

Along with testing, having an open and honest conversation with your partner is vital, Leal said.

“Have the conversation,” she said.

Students should not be scared to get tested because they are nervous about the results, Leal said.

“Just because there is a positive test result doesn’t mean it’s the end of anything. People can live healthy with HIV, and it happens all the time,” she said.

Hope Action Care also provided condoms, lubricants and information.

“Being protected is the most important thing … and right now being unprotected is the most dangerous thing you can do for your future,” social work sophomore Stephanie Trujillo said.

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