AIDS Foundation and ¡Hazlo! provide free testing Sept. 22

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By Rachel Cooper

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

A new program at this college known as ¡Hazlo! por su salud, or “Do it for your health,” aims at preventing incidences of HIV and substance abuse.

The program partners with the San Antonio AIDS Foundation and will provide free testing for HIV throughout the semester, starting

9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sept. 22 in the mall.

Students should look for a red van with “Are you positive you’re negative?” painted on the side.

Robyn Stassen, ¡Hazlo! coordinator, said, “I feel like everyone should be tested.”

The van was not on campus as scheduled Aug. 31 due to a scheduling issue, although there was a tester available on campus.

Testing also will be available 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 29; Oct. 13 and 20; and Nov. 3, 16 and 29 in the mall.

To be tested, students should be prepared to fill out some confidential paperwork.

Through the grant, SAAF can test students for HIV, hepatitis C and syphilis.

¡Hazlo! is funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

The grant started in October 2015, and SAAF brought it to this campus in February 2016.

Rapid tests are done to check antibodies in the system and if it comes back reactive, further testing will be done at the San Antonio AIDS Center, Stassen said.

The minute-long test involves a simple finger prick and participants can have their results within minutes.

The hepatitis C test takes 10 minutes.

Students can be referred to the center if they’re suspected to have a different STD based on risk factors, symptoms or test results, Stassen said.

It would be smart for students to get tested every year, even if they are in a 100 percent monogamous relationship, Stassen said.

She noted that you only have control over yourself.

“I’m not saying don’t trust your partner,” Stassen said. “We really just want to raise awareness.”

A lot of people think sexual health is different than a yearly checkup or sports physical, but the goal is to incorporate them together, she said.

Once the stigma is gone, people can ask questions, get tested, be treated and not feel like there is something wrong with them, Stassen said.

For more information, call Stassen at 210-486-1262 or Mary Dayton, student success adviser in the health promotions office, at 210-486-0127.

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