Montclair State University students will have the opportunity to go to the University Health Center for free HIV testing in Blanton Hall.
The health center encourages students to attend the event and check their current health status. Students who attend the event are also given a free gift card and condoms at the end of the testing.
Curtis Ocampo, a freshman linguistics major who attended the event, believes that it’s important to get tested for HIV and that people shouldn’t be ashamed to do it.
“No matter if you are sexually active or not, it’s important to get tested because you can get HIV through anything,” Ocampo said. “I believe that people shouldn’t feel ashamed to come in here because there is no reason to neglect your health.”
HIV testing is important for health, relationships and future purposes. An article by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care, and that those at high risk should get tested once a year.
Christian Suarez, a graduate student running this event, is a prep counselor for La Casa de Don Pedro, the agency offering this event. She believes testing is useful for all health purposes.
“HIV testing is important because we work to promote health in general,” Suarez said. “We had the opportunity to run this event both this week and next Wednesday, March 27.”
The article by CDC also states that about 1.1 million people in the United States have HIV, and one in seven of them don’t know it.
Steven Chen, a senior business analytics major who attended the event, believes that HIV testing is very effective since most people who have HIV aren’t aware of it.
“I think it’s a really good privilege for Montclair [State] to offer free HIV testing because it’s important to be aware of the health of both yourself and your partner,” Chen said. “Most people don’t even know if they have it, and these tests are very effective.”
HIV is a preventable disease so testing can reduce risks and lead to early treatments, which offers better outcomes.