MIZ-GYT provides free STI testing for students

Apr 18, 2013

Credit Bridgit Bowden / KBIA

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.