By Lauren Wolters, WoltersL1@Findlay.edu
The University of Findlay’s Cosiano Health Center held a sexually transmitted infection (STI) clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 17 from 9:00-11:00 a.m. At the clinic, students received free testing for HIV and Syphilis. A grant from the Allen County Health Department enables these tests to be free to students during the clinic.
Tara Smith, Director of Health Services at the clinic, explained how the Cosiano Health Center restarted the clinics in December.
“We were able to have the HIV/Syphilis clinic up again after a three-year hiatus, due to staffing and COVID-19,” Smith said. “We used to average two clients per clinic. In December, we had three clients; and in January, there were no clients.”
Smith said that before COVID-19 the Cosiano Health Center held STI clinics once a month, typically on the third Wednesday of the month from 9:00-11:00 a.m. They plan to host the clinics in this way for the foreseeable future, with the February clinic scheduled for Valentine’s Day, 9:00-11:00 a.m.
Smith emphasized that holding regular STI clinics is important because it provides an opportunity to give students all the resources that are available to them.
“I don’t believe there is a stigma [associated with STI testing],” Smith said. “Students seek out care for STI screenings more and more. It is confidential, so that helps with any stigma.”
The Cosiano Health Center holds other clinics in addition to the monthly STI clinics. Two of these other clinics held regularly focus on reproductive health.
“We do have a WomanKIND clinic twice a month for students and a Men’s Sexual Health Clinic once a month,” Smith said.
These clinics are on Wednesday afternoons, and it is $50 cash, check or credit card to be seen. The providers are from Blanchard Valley OB/GYN offices.
“Being able to provide this resource on campus is great for students wanting services on campus and for those whose insurance wouldn’t normally cover the cost of an office visit,” Smith said. “Both clinics are confidential and pertain to women’s health and men’s health.”
The Cosiano Health Center promotes the STI clinics and other resources offered by the center on UF’s calendar, TV screens across campus, social media (Facebook and Instagram), and in their own office with flyers.