The Student News Site of Clemson University

The Tiger

The Tiger

The Tiger

HIV/STI Testing Appointments Filled: AID Upsate provides free monthly testing on campus

Redfern Health Center offers HIV/STI tests during regular business hours for a fee.
Information Courtesy of Redfern Health Center
Redfern Health Center offers HIV/STI tests during regular business hours for a fee.

All March time slots for free and confidential HIV and STI testing are filled, according to Director of Healthy Campus Jennifer Goree.

AID Upstate will be in Redfern Health Center on March 24 to administer HIV and STI tests to 16 students. The slots filled within 24 hours after Healthy Campus sent an email on Feb. 17 that announced all time slots for the Feb. 18 clinic were taken. 

“I think students appreciate the opportunity to have free STI testing on campus,” Goree said, commenting on why the March slots filled so quickly. “AID Upstate always provides free testing in their offices, but their locations are in Greenville and Anderson,” Goree continued. “The fact that they are holding a clinic on campus is a real draw for students.”

Goree confirmed on Sunday that 14 slots are open for the April 21 clinic and no dates had been booked for the May 19 clinic.

AID Upstate is a nonprofit organization that contracts with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). Prevention Services Director of AID Upstate Maurice Adair said that the organization’s goal is to provide resources for people living with HIV and AIDS. 

“It’s not just testing,” Adair said. “We provide counseling and risk-reduction education as well.”

Adair said that before January, AID Upstate assisted DHEC with an annual free clinic on Clemson’s campus, serving an estimated 100 students per visit. “There would be so many,” he said. “Jennifer Goree approached us, and we decided to provide this monthly.”

Student Health Services began hosting the clinic in January of this year.

“We have had a long-standing partnership with AID Upstate,” Goree said. “This new monthly testing is something we worked on together to start this semester.” Goree also said that January slots filled up quickly.

Two AID Upstate volunteers who are trained in testing administer the tests from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. AID Upstate allots 40 minutes per test, which allows for eight tests per volunteer or 16 total.

To ensure anonymity, students do not check in at Redfern’s front desk. Students go to the bottom floor where a representative from Healthy Campus directs them to AID Upstate volunteers. The visit is “not part of [students’] medical records,” Goree said.

The free HIV test is performed by swabbing the inside of the cheek for saliva and provides immediate results. If the test is positive for HIV, a free blood test is performed for confirmation, and students receive results in “several days,” according to Goree. AID Upstate also does free blood tests for STIs.

“They’re not just doing a test and giving you your results,” Goree said. After the tests, volunteers debrief students, including those who did not test positive. “It’s all about education, awareness and advocacy.”

Student Health Services offers students confidential testing for HIV and some STIs for a fee. Students can make an appointment with Redfern to get tested. According to the Redfern Health Center website, “Most test results can be returned in 24 to 48 hours…”

Staff pharmacist Ronda McWhorter said that Redfern Pharmacy does not normally keep AIDS medication in stock but can order medications based on student demand.

“We work with students on pricing and their needs,” she said. “We’ll do everything we can to take care of students.”

CareConnect Clemson is part of AnMed Health Urgent Care and offers HIV and STI testing for a fee as well. 

“Medicare and most commercial insurance is accepted,” according to the CareConnect website.

Medi Urgent Care in Seneca does not provide in-house HIV or STI testing. Patients must first make an appointment to see a doctor for a fee, and the doctor can order a blood test for an additional fee. The sample is then sent to another lab, which reports the results to Medi Urgent Care.

Receptionists from both CareConnect Clemson and Medi Urgent Care confirmed the provision of HIV and STI tests. They said office policy does not permit them to provide names of sources.

Colleen Cooper, a junior microbiology major, said on Thursday that she knew about the AID Upstate clinic from the Healthy Campus email. 

“Even if I felt uncomfortable, I would suck it up and go check it out,” she said, commenting on whether she would feel comfortable using the service if she suspected for any reason that she had an STI.

Mackenzie Wangler, a sophomore management major, felt differently. 

“I would probably go to my personal physician because going to the clinic might be awkward,” she said. 

Students should call 864-656-5002 to sign up for a April and May time slots. Availability is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tiger

Your donation will support the student journalists of Clemson University . Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tiger

Comments (0)

All The Tiger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *