The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Why You Should get tested
For a lot of us, college is a time for exploring our sexualities, so sexual wellness should be at the forefront of our minds. Unfortunately, many of us didn’t receive a good sex education growing up, so you might not be aware of how important sexual wellness is or how to go about maintaining it. Sexual wellness means not only using contraceptives but also regular STD testing. Exploring your sexuality should be a beautiful learning experience, and taking steps to maintain sexual wellness helps keep it that way.
Vaginal, oral and anal sex can all spread STDs, and many STDs can be asymptomatic, which means that being symptom-free doesn’t mean you’re not unknowingly passing an STD to your sexual partner(s). Getting tested is the only way to ensure the sexual health of you and your partner(s). So, where do you start?
Having an open discourse about STDs and sexual wellness with your partner(s) is a great first step to protecting all of you and making your experience safe and enjoyable. Also, taking charge of your own sexual health and dismantling the stigma around STDs can be an incredibly empowering experience. There is no reason to be embarrassed about getting tested, or even being diagnosed with an STD; STDs are incredibly common, and there are plenty of resources available to help you. Think of sexual wellness as a form of self-care; you deserve to have the safest sexual experiences possible!
It can be daunting to find a location near you that offers cheap or free STD testing, but fear not! Here’s a list of locations in Chapel Hill and Carrboro where you can get STD tested:
Where to get tested
The Orange County Health Department has locations in both Chapel Hill and Hillsboro that offer free STD testing. The link above provides everything you will need to know, including the phone number to schedule appointments.
- SHAC: Student Health Action Coalition (Carrboro Option)
The Student Health Action Coalition in Carrboro offers free STD testing every Wednesday from 6:00pm-9:30pm. The testing is offered by appointment only; follow the link above to schedule an appointment online or call.
UNC Campus Health also offers STD testing; just visit the link above for more info and to schedule an appointment online. You can chose to not file your insurance, in which case prices range from $9-$91. Unless indicated otherwise, Campus Health will automatically file your insurance for the testing.
Planned Parenthood provides STD testing, treatment and prevention. Some insurances may cover the costs, otherwise testing and treatment prices range from $85-$350. Those under 18 get a half-off discount! Visit the link above for the address, phone number and more information.