Testing for peace of mind

Peer Wellness and Clinic 555’s STI testing event for students offered the Hamline community an opportunity to engage in safe sexual health practices on campus.

Alex Bailey, News Reporter

Hamline junior Emma Coppola and Peer Wellness Educator Advisor Katy Rimstad ran the table at the free testing event. (Freddie Buergin Witt)

Students were given the opportunity to test for various sexually transmitted infections (STIs), at a free testing event on Tuesday, Oct. 18, hosted by Hamline University’s student organization Peer Wellness. 

The organization partnered with St Paul’s Clinic 555 on the event, which also provided free contraceptive devices and HIV home tests.

STI stands for sexually transmitted infection, which as defined by Mayo Clinic as, “bacteria, viruses, or parasites that sexually transmitted diseases/infections may pass from person to person in blood, semen or vaginal and other bodily fluids.” 

Some STIs can be treated with antibiotics, while others can become chronic and can be managed, but not eradicated. 

Testing frequently for STIs is important due to how they can impact the lives of an individual and their partner.

“I think it’s important [to get tested] because keeping track of your own sexual health is necessary to your partner’s health and safety,” said one student attending the event who wished to remain anonymous.

Sexual health can be intimidating to recognize and conquer, but resources both on and off campus are available to make sure that students can feel –and be – at their best. 

Clinic 555, part of the Ramsey County Public Health Center, is a sexual and reproductive health clinic located in St. Paul. Their mission is to offer sexual and reproductive health services for adults and teens, from no fee to low cost, which they determine using a sliding scale based on family size and income. 

“No one will be turned away for lack of funds,” the Hamline Counseling and Health website notes in reference to Clinic 555. 

Regardless of financial ability, Clinic 555 is a community resource for anyone looking for sexual and reproductive health services.

At Hamline, students can use Peer Wellness as another little-to-no-cost resource. The organization works in conjunction with Hamline’s Health and Counseling services to offer a myriad of health services, including mental health options for students who need it. Health and Counseling services provide opportunities for immunizations, counseling and support groups, and other programs services to help students feel their best. 

Hamline Counseling and Health Services is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and offers virtual and in-person appointments. Call 651-523-2204 or schedule online using their Counseling and Health Services portal on the University website. 

Clinic 555 is open Monday through Friday starting at 8:15 a.m. Scheduled appointments are required, but some walk-in appointments are available. Schedule an appointment by calling their office number at 651-266-1255, or completing a contact form on the Ramsey County website.