By: Emma Buss. Staff Writer.
Students are moving along in the hallways during lunch time. Its quiet on the west side of campus except for Michael Jones with Asian Human Services. A student approaches the table and begins to look at the many pamphlets filled with as much information about HIV you can find on campus.
Jones asks the student if they were interested in getting a free rapid blood test. The student instantly agrees and the other volunteer at the table takes them into the wellness center for the test with results in 15 minutes or less.
The convenience of this booth gave students the opportunity to stop and talk openly with trusted volunteers about the status of HIV in the community and how it can affect them.
On Feb 13 the Truman College Wellness Center provided free rapid blood testing through the Uptown Asian Human Services center free for students.
Asian Human Services has been providing in-house and on location free HIV testing for 20 years in the Uptown and North Chicagoland area.
Accessibility to free HIV testing on the college campus will help students become more active in getting tested regularly. With the booth providing walk-ups just like how the center would, it helps students understand that it is simply that easy to get tested and make it a part of their health routine.
“The goal is to make the testing a routine thing to remove the stigma as much as possible,” said Jones.
Accessibility to students and the campus will help students become more accustomed with the idea of testing and talking about the risks of HIV and have a comfortable outlet if tested positive.
The stigma surrounding HIV and HIV testing comes from the lack of education provided. If someone is found to be positive with HIV, they sometimes do not have the resources to help deal with their newfound status.
“It may be life changing,” said Jones “It’s not life ending.”
Asian Human Services are located on 4753 N Broadway, Suite 700 and offer free HIV testing and are available for services relating to being an HIV positive individual