“Test Fest” —USC launches no-cost STI testing initiative for all students – Annenberg Media

In a groundbreaking move to ensure the sexual health and wellness of all students, the USC Undergraduate Student Government (USG), in collaboration with the Graduate Student Government, announced a special campaign for no-cost STI testing.

Available from February 10 to March 30, 2024, this initiative seeks to support students not covered by the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP).

Rudra Saigal, the Senator of the USG, shared insights with the Daily Trojan into the previous system’s limitations, highlighting the financial and privacy concerns that deterred some students from getting tested. “Before this initiative, students outside the SHIP had to pay upfront for STI testing and then navigate the cumbersome reimbursement process” Saigal said. “Moreover, students using their parents’ insurance plans often avoided testing for fear of disclosure.”

This campaign promises a significant shift, removing the need for insurance claims and ensuring complete confidentiality. It aims to empower students, especially around Valentine’s Day, to take control of their sexual health without the burden of cost, or the worry of insurance paperwork.

Students who want to get tested can do so easily. Here are the steps:

  • Log into MySHR and choose “STI Testing” for your appointment category.
  • Obtain a lab order for sample collection at the USC Student Health Center.
  • Head to the first floor of either Engemann or Eric Cohen buildings for lab services.
  • Provide a blood or urine sample as required.
  • Access your test results confidentially through the MySHR portal.

This service is exclusively for USC students who contribute to the Student Health Fee. The STI tests available include:

Chlamydia and Gonorrhea: Urine tests, recommended for sexually active individuals under 25.

Syphilis: Blood tests, advised for males, nonbinary, and transgender individuals having sex with men and for females who have never been tested.

HIV: A one-time recommended blood test for everyone, with additional screenings for those at higher risk.

For urgent concerns, USC offers 24/7 crisis support via call or text, alongside the option for immediate walk-in consultations at the Engemann Student Health Center for emergencies.

This initiative underscores USC’s commitment to fostering a healthy, informed, and supportive community, ensuring students can focus on their education and relationships without health-related anxieties.

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