UNMC senior nursing students Jade Gunther, Sarah Gierhan, Tara Kennedy and Hillary Borer gather at the registration booth during a free HIV testing event that took place at the student union.
UNK students had the opportunity last week to participate in a free HIV testing event. It was organized by a group of seniors who are in the UNMC nursing program here on campus. The free screenings were given at the West Center Building on Thursday and the student union on Friday. There was a major turnout, with over 50 students taking part during the first day of screening.
Organizers say there are many reasons why students should get tested. “A lot of college students engage in risky behavior that puts them at risk for HIV,” said Hillary Borer, a senior nursing major from Albion.
“Finding out about it early can not only decrease the spread of it, but can help prevent the disease process from continuing.”
There was additional incentive to participate in the event besides just getting screened for HIV. Free door prizes were given out both days for those who attended. It was also educational for anyone who wanted to learn how to decrease their risk of contracting the disease, as well as preventative measures.
The HIV screening process was completely confidential for students. During registration, students were simply given a number in the testing order. The screening itself consisted of only a finger prick and about a 15 minute time frame to process the results.
This is the second year of the event for the nursing students. They organize it annually as part of their Community Health course. They also had assistance from the Nebraska AIDS Project. “We feel it’s a great way to reach out to the community,” Borer said.
Reporter Hada Garcia
Reporter Justine Agaloos