Jaguar Health Fair provides students with health resources
Texas A&M University-San Antonio is holding its annual Jaguar Health Fair on Oct. 10 with several community based clinics onsite to provide health and wellness information.
Elyse Salazer, a senior and psychology major lost her health insurance benefits when her employment ended. The fear of getting sick without health insurance coverage is a major concern.
“I recently got laid off and I don’t have money. I’m just hoping I don’t get sick,” Elyse said.
When asked how she felt about the free clinics coming to campus Elyse said, “I think it’s helpful for people like me that don’t have health insurance.”
At this time, Texas A&M-San Antonio does not have an on-site health and wellness clinic. The annual Jaguar Health Fair may be the only opportunity students have to seek advice and testing without the fear of financial burden during the year.
Miya Daniels, a first semester freshman, lives on the Texas A&M-San Antonio campus would not call an ambulance if she got sick.
“It’s a couple thousand or hundreds. Isn’t it? Seriously. I’m not calling a ambulance,” Miya said.
She stated she would use her car to drive herself or have a friend take her to a local clinic in the event of an emergency. Like many of the students on the Texas A&M-San Antonio campus, Miya is over 5 hours away from her home in Fort Worth and can’t afford to get sick.
“We’re college students. We don’t have money or anything at all. We’re just here for school. It’s kinda hard to go home because of time management and all. So, we worry about health all the time and you don’t get that much of an excused absence to be sick or go to the hospital.”
During the annual health fair counseling referrals, blood pressure checks, latent TB, syphilis and HIV testing are just a few of the free services that will be offered with no appointment needed.
The San Antonio Aids Foundation mobile van will be onsite for free confidential syphilis and HIV testing. The SAAF mobile unit features private testing rooms and HIV test are performed using a test called INSTI HIV Antibody test.
It requires a tiny amount of blood from a finger-stick and takes just 60 seconds to develop the results. Confirmatory HIV testing is provided if an initial result is positive, with medical and social case management services available at no cost. HIV testing participants can remain anonymous and do not have to provide their name or contact information. However, a date of birth must be provided. All testing services are strictly confidential.
“Knowing where you stand and for the services to be free. I’ll definitely be there,” Miya said.
The annual health fair helps the university further assess the on-campus healthcare needs of students and staff. According to the Texas A&M-San Antonio website an on-site medical clinic has been planned with future developments.
Until then, students should always seek medical treatment when necessary and take advantage of services offered during the annual health fair.
For more information students can contact Christina Dominguez with Student Activities, 210-784-1329.