Sexual health resources for busy students on a budget

Media Credit: Photo Illustration by Grace Hromin | Senior Photo Editor

Students can take advantage of a variety of resources around D.C. that promote sexual health.

As a busy college student on a budget, it can be daunting and time consuming to find the right resources to meet your sexual health needs.

There are multiple affordable and accessible resources around D.C. where you can get tested for sexually transmitted infections and receive birth control, emergency contraception and information on safer sex practices. We’ve compiled information on five D.C. clinics and resource centers to help you better manage your sexual health when factors like money, time and fear of shame become barriers:

Foggy Bottom Plan B
Run by members of the GW community, Foggy Bottom Plan B is a donation-based organization independent of the University. Anyone in the Foggy Bottom area, not just students, can fill out a simple, confidential Google form to be delivered free, emergency contraception within 24 hours. On the form, you can indicate your preferences for delivery, like what semi-private space you’d like to meet at for your pick up, if you’d like condoms delivered with your emergency contraception and a preferred gender for the Foggy Bottom Plan B delivery volunteer. The organization delivers the medicine Preventza, which is taken as a one-dose pill meant to prevent pregnancy after birth control mishaps or unprotected sex. You can find extensive information about emergency contraception on the group’s website.

Planned Parenthood, Carol Whitehill Moses Center
Located at 1225 4th St. NE, just two blocks from the NoMa-Gallaudet U Metro station, this Planned Parenthood center provides services like testing and treatment for STIs, multiple birth control methods including internal and external condoms and LGBTQ+ resources like hormone replacement therapy. If you don’t have health insurance or Medicaid, you can get information on other government-funded programs or lower fee scale options. On its website, you can book appointments 24/7 without having to call the clinic, which is open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday, until 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday and until 4:30 p.m. Thursday through Friday.

Whitman-Walker Health Clinic
The Whitman-Walker Health Clinic, located at 1525 14th St. NW in Logan Circle, is a good option if you need care quickly and it’s just a three-minute walk from the 14th Street & Rhode Island Avenue DC Circulator bus stop. Through its donation-funded business model, this clinic is able to provide people with free walk-in rapid HIV testing and free STI self-testing kits. You can also access free Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis, commonly known as PrEP, a daily medicine meant to protect higher-risk demographics, like people engaging in anal sex, from contracting HIV. Post-exposure prophylaxis, or PEP, is also available as a combatting treatment if exposure to HIV is suspected. The clinic is open Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. and Fridays 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 to 5 p.m.

This non-profit organization was established in 1996 as an outreach and counseling hotline service for people in the sex work industry. While HIPS has expanded to also offer harm reduction services and tools for drug users like Narcan, HIPS is still a valuable tool for anyone who engages in sex work. The HIPS drop-in center is located at 906 H St. NE, a two-minute walk from the Metrobus H & 8th streets NE stop. The center provides resources ranging from shower, laundry and bathroom facilities to gender inclusive safer sex materials, drug testing kits and clinical services. The facility is open from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Friday 1 to 4 p.m. You can also call its 24-hour hotline at 800-676-4477 for crisis help or emergency situations.

Sex Is…
This D.C. sponsored health campaign was launched in 2017 and aims to provide fact-based information through mainly online resources about sex, sexuality and sexual health to the youth of the city specifically. You don’t have to need immediate medical care to seek answers about your own sexual health. Sex Is… is an ideal resource for nonurgent information, like how the digital world can influence our sex lives, guidance on sexual assault and consent and even a sex podcast. The campaign also offers free condoms, internal and external, for local delivery, and all you have to do is fill out a simple form. You can even browse local medical providers by services offered and ward if you need in-person treatment or resources. While this is mainly an online resource, you can find resources about the campaign in the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD and TB Administration offices on the fourth floor of D.C. Department of Health building at 899 North Capitol St. NE.

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