Importance of STD Testing during National Women’s Health Week

Importance of STD Testing during National Women’s Health Week

Carly Lawson, Staff Writer

In honor of National Women’s Health Week approaching on May 8, medical officials gave advice on how women can prioritize their health by getting regularly tested for sexually transmitted diseases and infections and how to avoid exposure.

“People can have an infection and not have any symptoms, men and women,” said Sherrie Bernat, a women’s health practitioner at Buffalo State’s Weigel Health Center. “So, if you’re having sex then you need to be tested.”

Bernat has been at Weigel for 40 years and said over the course of her career, sexually transmitted diseases are the most common issues impacting students.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all sexually active women under the age of 25 should get tested for gonorrhea and chlamydia every year. It is advised for individuals to practice safe sex through the use of barriers.

Weigel Health Center offers testing for gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, HIV, and hepatitis. The health center can also test for urinary tract infections and yeast infections and offer bloodwork, cultures, and condoms. The clinic also offers mental health and crisis counseling services on the second level of the building.

Bernat also described how students in need of certain treatments and birth controls, such as IUDS and Nexplanons, are either referred to Planned Parenthood and Evergreen Health.

“Everything here is completely confidential,” Bernat said. “Whatever they come to us with goes no further than the practitioner and the student.”