The University of Missouri Student Health Center offers free sexually transmitted infection testing Wednesday and Thursday as part of an education campaign called “GYT.”
“Get Yourself Tested,” or GYT, is a national campaign to promote STI testing for college students. At MU, the Wednesday and Thursday event dubbed “MIZ-GYT” offers free HIV, chlamydia, and gonorrhea tests.
Libby Hicks, a graduate assistant at the Student Health Center, said part of the program is to reduce the stigma of getting tested.
“Well, there’s naturally a stigma associated with STIs, and it can be embarrassing for some people, so I see that as a barrier.”
Dr. Heather Eastman-Mueller is a coordinator at the Student Health Center. She said one of the program’s goals is to appeal to a young audience.
“We have to make prevention precautions with sexual health and safety “sexy,” if you will, and it’s very hard to do that in our society I think.”
The health center gives out free t-shirts, stickers, and safety products at the event. Eastman-Mueller said that creating a “brand” for MIZ-GYT is key to getting students to come get tested.
“People actually present at the front desk and say ‘I’m not here for STI testing, but I’m here for MIZ-GYT.’ So, changing the lingo, changing the branding, making it more open dialogues.”
This is the fourth year MU has held a GYT event.