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Students take the test

Students take the test
Last week as part of the OUSA Sexual Health week from the 11th - 22nd of March, a number of students took part in free HIV tests on campus. The week coincided with the second reading of the marriage equality bill in parliament, a bill in which 84% students voted in favour of in the 2012 referendum. During the week OUSA assisted in running a number of events including the Queer Tea Party, a Sexual Health quiz night, and the HIV tests on campus.

“It was our first shot at doing a sexual health awareness week, its main aim was to raise awareness of the support that is out there for students and to impress upon them the importance of being safe with sex.” Said Jordan Taylor, OUSA Education Officer, “We got a good turnout on the day with 20 students being tested and had to refer others who we did not have time for to other providers.”

“Safe sex is an issue for young people, not just queer youth. But given the issues importance to queer students we brought the issues together in the Sexual Health Week”, said Mr. Taylor.

The figure may not seem impressive at first but during this year’s Big Gay Out which attracted around 15,000 attendees 70 people took the opportunity to take the test. The initiative which the OUSA Executive aim to grow over the coming years was supported by the Southern District Health Board, Family Planning Dunedin, and the New Zealand Aids Foundation (NZAF) who ran the testing.

“We hope to get even more turn out next time, students need to know there are multiple options out there to choose from including Student Health right on campus to Family Planning and even free HIV checks at other points around the city”, said Mr. Taylor, “I realise it’s a pretty touchy topic for some but I believe that the more people who take the time to get a quick and free test the better. We plan on inviting back NZAF again soon for another day of testing for our students, queer, straight and points in-between.”


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