Aug 182011
Authors: Danielle McConnell

The college life is one that exposes us not only to new experiences academically and socially, but also health wise. Whether it’s that stupid cold that gets passed from dorm to dorm, or something a little more serious, Colorado State University and the surrounding community are full of ways to accommodate you.

Many don’t know it, but there are free clinics that are open to anyone of any gender like the Alpha Center. This location allows for individuals to be tested for the majority of sexually transmitted diseases or pregnancy in three simple consultations. Anything from Gonorrhea and Chlamydia to HIV and Syphilis, people can be tested.

“Seventy percent of college-age students are sexually active and it is that same percentage of people that are capable of having an STD,” said Jenny Langness, director at the center. “We don’t just test, we educate.”

Not only does this organization test and educate you, but also with curable sexually transmitted diseases they can provide one with prescriptions for the necessary antibiotics. The hardest part of the process itself is simply showing up to all three appointments.

“I feel like more information and resources are there, but they are typically reactive resources rather than proactive resources,” said Regina Martel, junior political science major at CSU.

Along with the Alpha Center is Hartshorn, the medical facility on campus that is open to all students. Here, you can fill your prescriptions and also become aware of your sexual health without traveling a great distance.

By using the on-campus facility, students have the option of placing expenses on their student account and paying for them later. This can alleviate some of the pressure in regards to having to come up with the money on the spot.

The best part about all of these facilities is that they are either free or very inexpensive, which is an accommodation individuals will not find everywhere. It is strongly encouraged that students take the opportunity to know and understand their body, and beyond that, stay aware of what is around them.

“One in every two people on a college campus has an STD and doesn’t know it,” said Langness.

All it takes is the knowledge that places like the Alpha Center and Hartshorn exist and are ready and available to help students. Not only that, but college students on campus should be aware of their own personal well being. Anyone sexually active should get tested. Encourage your partner and your friends to follow in your footsteps.

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