Post Classifieds

'Know your status'

POSSE brings free HIV, STI testing to campus

By Jamie Hunter
On April 30, 2011

Two-thirds of all sexually transmitted diseases occur in people 25 years of age or younger, most of whom are college students, according to the American Social Health Association.

April 14, about 300 Winston- Salem State students were given the opportunity to "know their status" when "POSSE: Prevent Ongoing Spread of STDs Everywhere" was on the yard offering free testing.

The program is part of the HIV/STI section at the Forsyth County Department of Public Health. The POSSE Team provides non-clinical, off-site HIV/STI screenings and education in "non-traditional locations" such as churches, jails and universities.

Jennifer Nall, a syphilis elimination effort coordinator for Forsyth Public Health Department distributed information questionnaires to the students waiting in line to be tested.

Nall also manned a table that included information about condoms and pamphlets about STIs.

"We had a very good turn out," Nall said.

POSSE has been rotating between the dormitories on WSSU's campus all semester. Every Tuesday they set up a station and provide free testing. Their final campus visit will be during the last week of April.

"The RAs [resident assistants] and health educators have been very helpful with getting the message out. If you are having sex, then you need to get tested," Nall said.

Nall said that the organization stresses the importance of "knowing your status" and being informed. They provide information about safe sex practices, condoms and lubricants.

POSSE has provided A.H. Ray Student Health Center with the materials for confidential free testing on campus.

"I think what they're doing is very important because people on this campus are very promiscuous," said Dedricka Thomas, a junior justice studies major from Winston-Salem.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nationally the rates of STIs are significantly higher among adolescents, young adults and African Americans.

Various efforts over the years have caused STI rates to significantly decrease among all ethnicities, but the rates among African Americans have remained disproportionately higher.

"Knowing is great because you never know what could have happened; he [your partner] could have been unfaithful and not told you," said Antwanette Westmoreland, a junior nursing major from Mooresville, N.C.

"I'm glad that they're [POSSE] doing this because people around here are naive to the fact that HIV is alive and very prominent in the African-American community," Westmoreland said.

Nall suggests that students get tested multiple times a each semester, especially if they enter into new relationships with new partners.

"It's always good to know your status, especially if you are sexually active," said Dajour Allen, a junior exercise science major from Raleigh.

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

More thenewsargus News Articles

Recent thenewsargus News Articles

Discuss This Article


Class of 2019, what are your plans after graduation?


Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format