North Texas Daily

Wellness Center offers students discounted testing services

Wellness Center offers students discounted testing services

Wellness Center offers students discounted testing services
December 02
08:42 2013

Alyson Bogus / Contributing Writer

Every nine and a half minutes, someone in the U.S. is infected with HIV.

“That’s the statistic that sticks with me the most,” said Noelle McIntyre, coordinator of Health Resources for UNT’s Meadows Center for Health Resources.

To help students keep track of possible health issues, UNT’s Health & Wellness Center offers various discounted services to students, including laboratory tests and free HIV screenings. 

Blood work specials are offered during five weeks throughout the fall and spring semesters, and two weeks during the summer sessions. Tests available include a $21 complete blood count/comprehensive metabolic panel test that assesses anemia, iron deficiency, liver and kidney function; a $10 lipid profile that checks cholesterol levels and cardiac risks and a $32 thyroid stimulating hormone test that checks for proper functioning of the thyroid gland.

Medical technologist Carol Frederick said the Wellness Center sees about 60 to 80 students per week for blood work, and the condition most often caught is hyperthyroidism. Symptoms of the condition include increased appetite, fatigue and weight loss. 

There is one more opportunity for students to take advantage of the specials this semester Dec. 2-6. Testing is available Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Both the CBC/CMP and lipid profile require students to fast eight to 12 hours before testing. Results for both are available the next day after noon, and thyroid results are available 48 hours after testing.

The Wellness Center also teams up with Tarrant County Mental Health & Mental Retardation to offer students free HIV screenings on campus every two weeks.  Testers from the agency are available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the first Thursday of every month and 3 to 7 p.m. every third Thursday. Students are also provided pre- and post-test counseling and risk-reduction education during the process. Test results are available in 30 minutes.

McIntyre stressed the importance of testing regularly, especially those engaging in “risky” behaviors such as sexual activity, drug use and tattooing. Testing is done in complete confidentiality and is unlimited for students. Those that go for initial testing are given a $10 Wal-Mart gift card and are given a $20 gift card if they participate in a follow-up test after 30 days.

“There’s never any judgment,” McIntyre said. “We’re just here to help the students.” 

Biology senior Meagan Howell said she endorses the program.

“I think it’s important to offer these services to students to protect and inform them about sex and STDs,” Howell said. “The location is convenient, and since you don’t need to use insurance the services can remain anonymous from parents.”

Students can make appointments or be seen as walk-ins for testing and blood work but must present a valid UNT ID. The Student Health & Wellness Center is on the second floor of Chestnut Hall and employees can be reached at (940) 565-2333.

Feature photo: The Health and Wellness Center offers discounted testing services to students Dec. 2-6. The Health and Wellness Center is located at 1800 Chestnut St. on campus. Photo by Porschia Paxton / Intern Photographer 

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