In response to Lubbock’s syphilis outbreak, a free HPV and STI clinic for all Lubbock residents will take place March 31 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Student Union Building Matador room. The event is hosted by the Risk Intervention and Safety Education organization partnered with the City of Lubbock Health Department.
Upon arrival, individuals are asked to present their information and complete paperwork regarding which tests they would like administered. Following this, participants will speak with clinicians and take exams accordingly; all testing kits and vaccines will be provided at the site. Results will be released one to two days after the exam and can be picked up at the Student Health Services building. It is recommended to bring insurance; however, it is not required to receive care.
Emma Woolard, RISE Business Manager, detailed what the event offers.
“The clinic has multiple components, there's an STI testing component and a vaccination component as well,” Woolard said. “There will be shingles, Hepatitis V and HPV vaccinations … As far as STI testing goes, there will be, for sure, HIV and syphilis testing; there might be chlamydia and gonorrhea.”
Moreover Erika Radford, a physician with the Student Health Clinic, said chlamydia is the most common STI seen at the clinic, and recently there has been an increase in syphilis cases on campus.
“There is a syphilis outbreak in Lubbock right now, and it is quite significant,” Radford said. “One thing to remember about that is if you come in for just testing for gonorrhea and chlamydia, that’s not going to include syphilis testing. You need a blood test for that.”
In case of a positive result, Radford said the Student Health Clinic provides treatment options.
“If one of their labs comes back positive for an STD, we contact them and depending on which STD it is, we either need to bring them back in for treatment or we can send treatment over the phone,” Radford said. “We counsel them on ways to prevent spreading it, letting their partner know. If we need to treat their partner, we can treat their partner.”
In addition to experts, students also expressed the importance of STI testing. Ashton Aranda, a third-year vocal performance major from Odessa, noted the negative impacts of hookup culture.
“I think it’s important with the culture, people tend to date around and so it’s really easy for there to be a spread,” Aranda said.
First-year anthropology major of Lubbock Madelin Ramirez said the free clinic is a way for individuals to take care of themselves.
“People don’t know unless you get tested,” Ramirez said. I would put the quotes from students here. Also, this quote is a little weak if y’all have more to add to it
Woolard said sexually transmitted diseases and infections are common, but there are resources readily available.
“Really it’s just to ensure that people are staying healthy and safe, and also kind of reduce the stigmas. If you do have any type of sexually transmitted disease or infection, most of them are treatable, especially if they’re caught really quickly,” Woolard said. “It’s not a big deal, it doesn’t make you a dirty or a gross person. It just means you got an infection like people get sinus infections or they get colds or flus.”
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