Health Office offers free STI testing for everyone


Rachel Krumholz, Feature Editor

In light of the fact that April is “Get Yourself Tested” Month, the nurses at the Health Center are teaming up with ​the City of Evanston Health Department, Y.O.U., and Howard Brown Health to spread awareness of STD testing.

“The reason to detect sexually transmitted diseases early is so that they don’t cause much more serious complications later in life,” nurse practitioner Kathy Swartwout says .

It is understood that there is a stigma around STD’s, as well as STD testing. By ensuring confidentiality and making the tests free of charge, more students are willing to get tested. Ultimately, the more people there are that get tested, the closer they are to eradicating this stigma.

Swartwout, along with other staff members in the Health Center, make it so that the process is easy going. “In Illinois, if you are 12 years of age or older, you can access reproductive health services independently.” This means that after making an appointment, students are able to go about testing without the consent of their parents.

In addition to the voluntary testing, the Health Center also wants to create discussions about sexual health among students.

According to Planned Parenthood, it is quite common for STD’s to not show symptoms. This is all the more reason to get tested if you have been sexually active.

The Health Center also provides different forms of birth control to students who are sexually active. They offer students condoms, birth control pills, the patch, the ring, or the Depo-Provera shot.

“We are all about prevention and being a place where people can trust us and talk to us openly,” says Swartwout.

Testing takes place Tuesdays and Thursdays during lunch periods in the Health Center (H101). To learn more about STD testing and safe sex, visit ​​.