HATTIESBURG, MS. (WDAM) - Southern Miss's Student Health Services department is offering some new programs this semester. The department caters to ill members of the university community.
The new services include a web portal which allows students, faculty and staff to make an online appointment and fill out necessary paperwork before they visit the clinic.
Additionally, the department is providing the recently approved Gardasil vaccine for men. That vaccine is designed to protect both men and women from common strains of the Human Papillomavirus, which can cause cervical cancer and genital warts. The vaccine has been available to USM women for several years.
A third option the clinic is offering for the first time is regularly scheduled free rapid HIV tests. Jodi Ryder is a Health Education and Promotion Coordinator with the university.
"I do a lot of outreach and education to students but it's really great if we can offer these services because students will know they need to get tested but actually offering them the means to get tested for free or offering them the vaccination is a part of telling them to go do this," said Ryder.
The HIV tests will be available starting October fifth and they'll extend into the first and third Tuesday of each month.