By Lauren Keuning
The Brookhaven College Health Center has provided HIV testing at no cost to students for more than eight years. Most recently, free HIV testing was offered Feb. 7 in the Student Health Center.
Mildred Kelley, Brookhaven nurse, said HIV testing is done monthly by various Dallas County agencies like The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
But this is not the only service provided by the Health Center to promote safe sex. There are health fairs and student life fairs each year with HIV informational booths as well as informative pamphlets provided year-round. Kelly said free condoms are also located in the Health Center.
“I feel it is my responsibility [as the school’s health provider] to at least have the information available, do what I can to educate people and let people know that there is a place to come and be tested, and there is a place to come and ask questions,” Kelley said.
Antonio Zapata, a student, said he was not aware of the HIV testing and was mildly surprised the campus offered the service.
Mitzi Morris George, adjunct psychology faculty, encourages her students to take her human sexuality course to increase their knowledge of sex health.
“It is a social responsibility [of teachers], and students are not getting this in their home lives,” she said.
Morris George said that because many Texas citizens hold traditional, conservative values, students do not receive proper sex education in high school, nor through their parents. Higher education is often the first time they are out of the house and exposed to sexual activity. She also said that without the proper education, students may put themselves at risk and be completely unaware of it.
The next free HIV testing will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. March 7 in the Student Health Center, Room S072.