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Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source

The Observer

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University holds first men’s health fair today

In a time when sexually transmitted infections (STIs) have become a social stigma, one Case Western Reserve Univeristy medical student, Kyle Scarberry, is launching a charge against the diseases. Today CWRU will host its first Men’s Health Fair, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Adelbert Gym.

The fair is open to all male undergraduate and graduate students, for testing for various STIs. According to official information provided by the fair’s organizers, “The fair is meant to promote men’s health awareness and sexual health awareness on campus, and will include basic health screening for high blood pressure and body fat percentage.”

“Free, confidential testing for sexually transmitted infections including HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea will also be available. Education materials and condoms will be passed out, and the event will have free food and presentations on exercise, nutrition, and safe sex.”

The health fair provides screening for campus men who otherwise would not be tested because they do not want it to appear on their parent’s insurance or do not see a physician on a regular basis.

Director of Univeristy Health Services (UHS) Dr. Eleanor Davidson said in a statement to The Observer, “In the U.S., men are reported to underutilize health services throughout all age groups. We are delighted for this opportunity to reach out and do a screening on campus, so we can reach men who might not initially come to the Health Service for an individual visit.”

“We will be testing for HIV with a mouth swab, and chlamydia and gonorrhea with a urine test,” she continued. “These [tests] will be done by the county, and the results will be provided directly to the student tested. Treatment will be available for any positive tests.”

“I hope that after attending this event men will feel more inclined to do things that are important for their health including using condoms, discussing STIs with their partners, and seeing a doctor for regular screening,” Scarberry explained.

According to the FAQ provided to program attendees, “Annual STI testing is recommended in sexually active heterosexual males.”

The informational materials also note “Gay and bisexual men and other men at increased risk for HIV infection may benefit from more regular HIV testing (every three [to] six months), and should have their individual risk assessed during an appointment at UHS.”

Statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state that people ages 13 to 29 comprise approximately 40 percent of new STI cases in 2009.

The CDC also states that “The presence of an STI greatly increases a person’s likelihood of acquiring or transmitting HIV.”

According to the organizers of the Men’s Health Fair, all tests will be confidential but not anonymous. Participants will be required to provide their name and contact information, but the test findings will remain completely confidential to the participant.

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