Health center offers sexual health services

Paola Marizan

Alex Abrams knows he doesn’t have Chlamydia thanks to the services offered to him by the University Health Center.

Abrams, a sophomore, had a test done six months ago at the health center, located in lower level of the Health Professions building on campus.

He said he felt comfortable going.

“It’s cheap. I think it’s good because many students cannot afford a doctor,” he said. “I think it’s easier to go there than to a doctor.’’

Abrams said he liked the programs it offers.

“They have covered all the important stuff,” he said.

He seemed interested in the new programs and said he would not hesitate to visit the health center again for sexual health reasons or general medicine.

The health center offers physical exams, routine gynecological services, short-term medical observation, mental health, pap smears, drug screening, injury care, STD testing, birth control and immunizations, to name a few services, and it is expanding – adding sexual health programs.

The health center provides contraception services – offering condoms, counseling and two types of birth control, Depo Provera Injection, which costs $75,  and oral contraception with prescription only. It provides students the option of STD tests for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia.

The pharmacy, which opened in the fall, offers 16 different prescription medications on-site including antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and anti-depressants.

Prices for medication varies from $5-9 with a written prescription by the physician or nurse practitioner at the health center.

Deaconess Practice Manager Matt Winegar, who described the University Health Center as “oriented to the wellness of the students,’’ said 50 to 60 students visit the facility daily.

Approximately 960 students visited the health center last year, not counting fall and spring break, Winegar said.

Winegar said he is willing to listen to anyone who has propositions for new programs students may be interested in, but said they are costly and take some time to develop.

The health center does not offer prenatal or obstetrical care.

Winegar said the health center is developing more outreach programs for students, including monthly visits to the residence halls to answer questions about sexual health.

Coralis Miranda-Reyes, freshman international studies major, expressed how helpful the services are.

“It’s a good thing,” she said. “College students should be aware of these services if they are sexually active.”

Miranda-Reyes said she would feel comfortable using the services if she ever needed to.

Women tend to go to the clinic more than men, but awareness should be given to both genders, Miranda-Reyes said.

“Their policy and service is good,” she said.