‘Testy Tuesday’ make a return to Cal Lutheran’s campus

Ashley Cope, Reporter

California Lutheran University Health Services has brought back ‘Testy Tuesday,’ a program providing full-time students with free testing for sexually transmitted disease(STD). This program is a cooperation between Health Services, Student Life, the Center for Equality and Justice, and Associated Students California Lutheran University Government (ASCLUG).

“With funds from each of these areas, we are able to offer free HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea testing on the first and third Tuesday of the month, ” Saul Miller, director of Health Services said in an email interview. 

All Health Services appointments are available to full-time students only. A full-time student is defined as an undergraduate taking 12 or more credits in the fall and spring, or six credits or more over breaks. Students in the graduate programs and bachelor’s degrees for professionals program who take take six or more credits are also eligible to use Health Services. 

“It is important for students to be informed of various resources on campus to protect their health. Having the tests on campus for free allows for more accessible testing that students are more likely to take advantage of,” Andrea Layne, director of Student Life said in an email interview. 

Wellness Resources also offers sexual health items available for students outside their office in the Student Union. This includes items such as condoms, female condoms, dental dams, lube and pregnancy tests. Wellness Resources also conducts various events in residences halls and freshman seminar classes to educate students and provide them with the different resources offered.

“It’s important to know which kinds of tests are accurate for which STDs,” Adina Nack, a professor and medical sociologist at Cal Lutheran said in a email interview. 

“For example, a full screening may include a visual inspection by the practitioner and then lab work done on a blood sample, a urine sample, a swab inside the mouth, a pap smear of the cervix, and a swab from any sores or area producing discharge” Nack said. 

STD testing for HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea is free on ‘Testy Tuesday’s’ and costs $58.50 any other day of the week. Health Services also offer other STD testing, but prices may vary. 

“In general, for most sexually active students, screening for STDs like gonorrhea and chlamydia should occur at least annually,” Miller said in an email interview. 

According to Physician One, HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea are three of the most common STDs in the United States. 

“Last year, there was a large decrease in STD testing on campus due to many students taking classes online. However, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were seeing approximately 130-150 students per year for STD tests. This year, we are on pace to see about 120 students for STD testing by the end of the academic year,” Miller said.

According to Nack, Health Services also provides preventative measures against different STD’s and other potentially harmful diseases for students.

“In addition, all students who have not yet received a STD vaccine may want to consider receiving those which have been evaluated by the FDA as being safe and effective for both Hepatitis B, which can be sexually transmitted, and HPV, human papillomavirus which causes genital/oral warts and genital/oral cancers,” Nack said. 

Health Services does require appointments for all visits. To make an appointment call (805) 493-3225. Health Services also offers appointments for contraception, morning after treatment, pregnancy tests, and annual women’s health exams. For more information and resources visit the Health Services website.