Free HIV tests to hit campus

By Christina Cimmino
February 1, 2007

Cabrini College’s health services and the office of health and wellness education will be sponsoring an anonymous and free HIV testing on Monday, Feb. 5 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The HIV testing will be hosted by Family Services of Montgomery County. Twenty appointments are available for on-campus testing; however those who are interested will have to have advance registration and appointments will be about 15 minutes in length. This is the first HIV testing that Cabrini has ever hosted.

Christine Hyson, director of health and wellness education, said, “Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, young people in the United States [defined as 13 – 24 years of age] are at persistent risk for HIV infection. This risk is especially notable for youth of minority races and ethnicities.”

“With regard to prevention by the CDC, one of the vital strategies for preventing HIV includes making HIV testing a routine part of medical care. Having this testing readily accessible for the Cabrini community is extremely important and was a critical part of the decision to bring HIV testing onto campus,” Hyson said.

According to Yahoo! Health, HIV is a virus that destroys the body’s immune system and leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, a disease that cannot be cured. An HIV test can determine if antibodies to HIV are in the blood, and can further tell if the infection is present. HIV can be spread through sexual activity, sharing needles through drug use, and mother to child through birth.

“In the past, both Health Services and the office of health and wellness education attempted to locate organizations that were willing to test on campus. However, we were unable to find such a service within our area. Students were generally referred to Family Services of Montgomery County or other resources for testing,” Hyson said. “While contacting Family Services of Montgomery County this past fall to double-check the availability of their services, we learned that they now offer on-campus testing and immediately established the February testing dates at Cabrini. It is our hope to continually set up additional testing dates on campus, so that this service is always available for the Cabrini community.”

Monica Bossone, a freshman liberal arts major, said, “I think the HIV testing is a good thing because it will be beneficial to the people who have always wanted to be tested but never did. However, I don’t think a lot of people will do it because they are scared.”

“It will give people the knowledge they need and it will stop HIV from spreading. I don’t think the tests should be just HIV but all STD’s. I think health screenings should be considered because it’s better to be educated than to be ignorant,” Scott Bordignon, a junior exercise science major, said.

To sign up for HIV testing on Feb. 5, please contact 610-902-8531 or, with only your first name or initials needed. Participants will need to return on Monday, Feb. 19 between 9:00 a.m. – noon for testing results.

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Christina Cimmino

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