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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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HIV awareness group renews push for on-campus testing

By Emma Atwood | Hatchet Reporter

Campus activists hope to hold more HIV testing clinics in the Marvin Center this year, fearing that the extra distance to Student Health Service deters students from learning their status.

Philip Horowitz, president of the Student Global AIDS Campaign, said he is working with SHS this fall to hold at least two free testing clinics each semester.

The push comes after an 80 percent decline in students tested last year. A total of 95 students were tested last year, a 433-student drop from the year before.

The health center, which is located on K Street, offers free testing monthly. Last year, the tests were offered for free on a weekly basis, but few students turned out.

Horowitz, who is also a leader of Allied in Pride, said the free HIV testing clinics in the Marvin Center will be “easier to access.”

But Susan Haney, associate director of Student Health Service, said if students received a positive test result, they would be better served at the campus health center.

“The student would be best served being in the clinic environment because the appropriate counseling would be available on site,” she said.

She maintained that SHS officials are “happy” to work with the SA and student organizations to determine the best locations for testing events.

The office’s K Street location came under scrutiny during SA president Julia Susuni’s campaign last year.

She has been lobbying administrators for months to move health services – SHS as well as the University Counseling Center – closer to campus. Her Health and Wellness Task Force, which looks at possibly moving the centers, met for the first time last week.

Susuni said they have identified relocating SHS and UCC to Old Main or Tompkins Hall, after departments move into the Science and Engineering Hall in 2015.

The offices are currently located at 2141 K St. and 2033 K St., respectively, which Senior Associate Dean of Students Mark Levine has said offers students anonymity during their visits.

Susuni said administrators have been open to her proposals. Recently, she’s been trying to see if students would support the move, what other locations would best and whether combining the health and counseling offices would benefit students.

Levine has said the location of Student Health Services on K Street is beneficial because imaging services and the Quest Lab are in the same building.

-Chloe Sorvino contributed to this report.

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