Free, confidential HIV testing returns to Northwestern

Sammy Caiola

Free and confidential HIV testing will be again offered at the Norris University Center this Wednesday between 10:15 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

The event is sponsored by Rainbow Alliance and the LGBT Resource Center in conjunction with Asian Human Services, a Chicago-based organization that aims to meet the social needs of the pan-Asian community in Chicago.

When Rainbow Alliance and LGBT Resource Center held this event for the first time in the fall, there were people in line who were not tested because time ran out, said Caroline Perry, a Weinberg junior and campus outreach chair for Rainbow Alliance. She said this time they are more prepared because the event is longer and there is more help from AHS.

“We held a testing event in late October and it was great,” Perry said. “I only wish we had more workers.”

Chris Garcia, a resource assistant at the center who helped organize the event, said everyone at Northwestern should be tested.

“We want to have a large influx of people, but we’re limited in the effect we can have because of time constraints,” the Medill junior said.

Perry reached out to a number of Chicago organizations this summer in search of funding, and Asian Human Services responded. AHS has a grant from the government to be used specifically for HIV testing on college campuses, which it does once a month. This will be the second time AHS visits Northwestern.

Project Coordinator Amy Wong said that the NU’s high percentage of Asian Americans was a draw factor for the organization.

“There’s not a lot of attention given to the Asian component of LGBT groups,” Wong said. “This will help bring some more awareness to the needs of the Asian community.It just creates more visibility.”

Testing will take place in the Northwestern Room on the first floor. It is open to student, staff and faculty.

“It’s not just a Rainbow and LGBT thing,” said Robert Gomez, a Weinberg freshman. “A lot of people don’t know what their partners could have had. It’s on campus, and it’s free. How hard is it to take a trip to Norris?”