Condoms, testing offered

Adriane Hardin

Blue condoms, red lubricants and mint-flavored dental dams were spread across a table.

Curious students wandered by. Some looked. Others took the free samples.

Three health groups talked to students about sexual responsibility, tested students for HIV and gave away flavored lubricants and condoms at Downing University Center this week.

TopperWell, Kentucky Public Health Association and Eta Sigma Gamma honor society put on the event.

About 86 students took part in the free HIV testing.

Each patient held a cotton swab in their mouth, health education coordinator Kathryn Steward said. The swab was then placed in antibodies and sent off for testing.

It will take a week to get the results from the tests and students will be notified when the results are available, Steward said.

While some students took part in the free HIV testing, others came to become informed.

“One of the first questions I ask them is, ‘What do they know about HIV,'” she said. “Then I educate them about HIV because a lot of them are misinformed.”

Those tested were asked about their sexual behaviors and why they came in for testing, she said. Verbalizing this sometimes allows students to become more aware of their behavior.

“When you hear yourself say I’ve had multiple partners and I haven’t used a condom,” Steward said. “You can kind of see their faces, in that some of them are uncomfortable with saying that.”

Giving students items like condoms, lubricants and dental dams for free helps to promote student awareness of how to protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases, Steward said.

The items that were being given away yesterday didn’t interest Louisville senior Julie Logsdon.

Logsdon said she doesn’t agree with premarital sex.

Some students came to HIV testing for the information that Steward would provide, she said. Some instructors on campus were offering extra credit to such students.

Others like Erik Losey, a sophomore from Chattanooga, Tenn., visited the tables outside of DUC to see what was going on.

“I was curious to see what they had,” Losey said. “I think it’s a good thing,”

Reach Adriane Hardin at [email protected]