Student Life Student Health Services at the Wilce Student Health Center has long been an ally of the LGBTQ community and at this time following the tragic events in Orlando, we continue to stand with the community and all human beings who value life and love. We mourn those who have lost their lives and continue to work towards an inclusive and accepting world for all.

Wilce is a facility that all students should feel welcome, safe and cared for in the best possible way. We offer comprehensive primary care services and can facilitate specialty care when indicated.  We offer the full spectrum of testing for sexually transmitted infections and we are here for questions and advice about this and other healthcare needs.

With the healthcare reforms of 2010, access and coverage for many groups previously denied care has significantly improved which includes the transgender community. We at Student Health are pleased to offer services to transgender patients not only for general primary care but also hormonal therapy for those interested in making that transition.  We strive to make everyone feel comfortable, including addressing you by your preferred name and using preferred pronouns.  Confidentiality is always a priority.  Several Student Health physicians recently attended conferences on transgender healthcare and we are working towards a focused, evidence-based pathway for providing treatment, and for following those students in a safe and healthy way.  We will discuss the risks and benefits of hormonal therapy, the typical schedule of visits and monitoring lab tests as well as what one can and cannot expect from the therapy.  We work closely with Counseling and Consultation Services and would like anyone considering transition to be working with a counselor since this is such a significant step forward in your well-being.  Please call our appointments line at (614)292-4321 to discuss your particular needs with one of our appointments staff and schedule your visit with an appropriate provider.

We wish the Columbus LGBTQ community an uplifting Pride Week and Month.


Dr. Ryan Hanson, MD



Order-It-Yourself Testing

September 27th is National Gay Men’s HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.  As we move into our fourth decade dealing with the HIV virus and the resulting diseases, It is important to consider that HIV is still having a major impact on people’s lives every day.  Gay men and other MSM have played a critical role in educating their community (and subsequently, the rest of the world) about the risks of HIV, ways to prevent transmission, and ways to reach out and assist those living with HIV every day.   

Nationally, there is an ongoing focus on reaching out to everyone at risk, including some who have not had the opportunity to hear the message, including many young people and people of color.  Dr. Kevin Fenton, Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS at CDC, wrote this post from the White House Office of AIDS policy, and he references many groups that are empowering men to get tested regularly, encourage their partners to get tested, and think about ways to prevent new HIV infections.

Here at OSU, there are ongoing efforts to educate students and assist them with testing options.  The Student Wellness Center recognizes sexual health as one of the critical dimensions of wellness, and offers many resources.  Gustavo Carlos, who serves as a sexpert for the SWC outreach, meets with students weekly to discuss safer sex and answer questions. 

However, there is work still to do right here on campus.  Martez Smith, OSU social work major and member of the AIDS Resource Center Ohio, works with many MSM of color, and is concerned that sexual health and STI prevention messages are not reaching these students.  He is involved in community programs that are reaching out to OSU student organizations to help spread the word. 

Have you ever been tested?  Even if your risk is small, the CDC recommends testing for HIV AT LEAST ONCE.  If you have ongoing risk, then annual testing is in order.  Student Health Services can assist you in many ways, including access to testing, education materials, and access to medical professionals who can counsel you and answer your questions.  Check out our past GYT (Get Yourself Tested) blogs for other pointers.

Get tested.  Know your status.

Roger Miller, MD  (OSU Student Health Services)



LGBT Health Awareness Week

This week marks the 10th Annual National LGBT Health Awareness Week.  You may think “What does being Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender have to do with my health?”  Well, as a matter of fact – a lot! 

  • There are higher rates of smoking, illicit drug usage and binge drinking among LGBT people
  • Eating disorders are more prevalent in gay and bisexual men compared to straight men
  • There are higher rates of stress disorders, addictions and suicide attempts by youth in the LGBT population
  • Rates of Intimate Partner Violence are equivalent to heterosexuals but the resources for help are less accessible, especially in rural and non-urban areas
  • STI (sexually transmitted infection) rates are much higher, especially in younger gay men and African American gay men
  • LGBT people are more likely to suffer verbal abuse by their peers
  • It can be more difficult to find health care providers willing to work with transgender patients

In addition to all of the above risk factors, many LGBT people find it hard to come out to their health care providers.  Some may still be seeing the same family doctor they grew up with – and that their parents still see! – and fear that the doctor may be judgmental of their sexuality.  Others find it hard to trust a new health care provider out of fear that they will be treated differently. 

Well, your health care provider should treat you differently!  Your sexuality is not the defining factor of your character, but it certainly is an important part of your health so you should share that information with your health care providers.   Ohio State has many resources available to help LGBT students live a healthy life.  

All of the health care providers at Student Health Services are sensitive to LGBT health issues and many have a specific interest in LGBT health. 

The Office of Student Life has a program called B.A.R.T. (Bias Assessment and Response Team), which allows students, staff, and faculty to anonymously or confidentially report incidences of abuse or crimes based on a bias against the victim. 

The Multicultural Center in the Office of Student Life also coordinates Open Doors, an anti-bias training program that works to address and eliminate bias at Ohio State.

Remember, everyone should get the best possible health care for the life they lead and that can’t happen if we don’t know the real you!

Alison Sauers
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

Get Yourself Tested. Know Your Status.

Wilce Student Health Center

We have covered several topics related to STD’s this month: getting tested, safer sex, and some STD-related vaccines.  However, sex means lots of things to different people, and it is very important that you (and your clinician) know your exposures and risks in determining what tests need to be done. 

You need to share:

  • How many partners (male, female, or both) you have had.
  • All sexual activities you had with them.
  • Whether or not protection was used.
  • What previous screening you have done.
  • Whether or not you are having any symptoms.

If you are sexually active, have been with more than one person, and were negative at your last screening or have never been tested, you should consider:

  • Urine testing for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, if you are a male who has had vaginal sex, insertive anal sex  or if you are a female who has had vaginal sex.
  • A rectal swab for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, if you’ve had receptive anal sex.
  • Blood testing for HIV and Syphilis.
  • An examination to check out any bumps, sores, growths that have appeared since your last screening.

A word about oral sex – Risks and testing related to oral sex are somewhat sketchy. If you give oral sex, infections can occur in your mouth or throat, but may be hard to detect. In rare cases, you may also get infections when you receive oral sex. Testing is available for certain types of oral infections.  Talk to your clinician about these risks and tests.

Other tests such as for hepatitis B and C, may be needed for some people, as well.

Once you are tested negative, consider a regular screening schedule every six months, or more often if you are concerned about exposures or symptoms.  For more information, visit the GYT site and read the STD testing FAQ’s.

Please be aware that recommended tests done after you meet with your clinician OFTEN ARE NOT covered under health insurance benefits.   Check out your coverage before your visit, and consider paying for these tests yourself if you are not covered. 

At the end of the day, being well informed, using safer sex methods correctly, and getting screened appropriately will help keep you healthy, and that keeps your next partner healthy, and their next partner, and so on. 

Be Safe! 

Roger Miller, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

Cool Programs and Awesome Give-Aways for Sexual Violence Awareness Week!

In recognition of Sexual Violence Awareness Week, there will be a bunch of cool programs on campus this week to promote safety and support for students.  There will be tons of free give-aways, food, music, movies and more, so bring your friends and have a great time while you learn how to keep each other safe!

Here is the schedule for the week.  For updated information visit the Student Wellness Center website, email or call 292-4527.


Kick Off Festival:  Music!  Food!  Prizes!     12noon – 3pm   Ohio Union Lawn

Music, tie-dyeing and other fun events will be held to help raise awareness among students about the issue of sexual violence and week of scheduled events.

When Love Turns to Fear  7-9pm   Ohio Union Ballroom, 2nd Floor

Author Lundy Bancroft will discuss intimate partner abuse, and answer questions such as: What does it look like?  What can you do? This presentation will be helpful to students who have experienced intimate partner abuse or know others who have.  Bancroft will offer information concerning:

  1. The early warning signs of an abusive relationship
  2. Different styles of abusers, how they differ, how they are similar
  3. How to tell if an abuser can change, is changing, or ever will
  4. The role of drugs and alcohol in an abusive relationship
  5. What can be fixed, and what can’t
  6. How to leave a relationship safely: Resources on Campus
  7. Specific safety challenges for intimate partner abuse among college students 


T-shirt making for Clothesline Project  9am-5pm  Student Wellness Center, RPAC

Create a t-shirt design reflecting an experience of sexual violence, healing and recovery. These t-shirts become part of the OSU “Clothesline Project”: a visual awareness-raising display. 

T-shirts and supplies are furnished, or you can bring your own t-shirt.  T-shirts will be displayed on the Oval on Wednesday, 4/21/2010.  The OSU Clothesline Project is displayed every year at the Annual Take Back The Night March and Rally, and at other events.

Options Following Sexual Violence:   Civil, Criminal and Student Judicial Affairs   12:30-1:30pm  Sphinx Suite, Room 2150, Ohio Union 2nd Floor   

Options following an incident of sexual violence (i.e. sexual assault, intimate partner abuse and stalking) will be discussed during this panel presentation.   Representatives from the Capital University Law School’s Family Advocacy Clinic, the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office Abuse Unit, and OSU Student Judicial Affairs will offer information and answer questions.  Specifically, the criminal justice process, stalking order process and Student Judicial process will be discussed.  This presentation is designed to answer questions for attendees, as well as to provide an overview of the related processes.

Stalking 101   2:30-3:30pm  Dave Griner Room, RPAC

Learn how to identify and respond to stalking behavior.  An officer from the OSU Division of Police and the long-term advocate at the Student Wellness Center will present on what stalking may look like for college students, options for addressing the unwanted behavior and safety planning.  This workshop would be especially helpful for any student who is wondering if they, or someone they know, is experiencing stalking.

White Ribbon Campaign:  Men Working to End Violence  10am to 2pm   Oval, RPAC pavilion

The white ribbon campaign is an international awareness effort to demonstrate men’s commitment to ending sexual violence.  Men will be passing out white ribbons and providing information about sexual violence.   This event is designed to help men become involved and raise awareness about how sexual violence is not just a “woman’s issue” it’s an issue for everyone.

Tough GuiseMen and Masculinity   7-9:30pm   RPAC Meeting Room #2

A video and presentation will be shown to encourage discussion of masculinity and hyper-masculinity, and how they intersect with sexual violence.    


Clothesline Project on the Oval   12noon – 3pm

T-shirts made by OSU survivors and co-survivors will be displayed on the Oval.   Peer crisis intervention support will be provided in case someone needs to talk about their reaction to the t-shirt display.   

Consent Workshops  4:30-5:30pm   Sphinx Suite, Room 2150, Ohio Union, 2nd Floor

What is consent and how do I get some?

Members of the student groups, Women and Allies Rising in Resistance and Student Support for Survivors, will lead a discussion about consent to sex, and the factors that affect our ability to give and receive consent to sex. 


Sex in the Media  11:30am-12:30pm Barbie Tootle Room, Room 3156, Ohio Union, 3rd  Floor   

Nicole Nieto from the Multicultural Center will offer information and lead a discussion of how sexuality is portrayed in the media and how this portrayl may impact sexual violence.

Root Beer Pong  1-4pm  Oval

Students will have fun while learning about the connections between alcohol consumption and sexual violence.

Crossing Intimate Partner Lines:  People of Color and Intimate Partner Violence  2-3pm  Multicultural Center Lantern Room, Ohio Union, First Floor

Inter-cultural specialists from the Multicultural Center will lead a discussion about the occurance of intimate partner violence in communities of color. 

Violence in Same Sex Relationships  2:30-3:30pm  Dave Griner Room, RPAC

Violence can happen in all kinds of relationships.  Gary Heath from the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO) will offer information about violence in same sex relationships. 

Healing Event for Survivors and Co-survivors   6:30-7:30pm  Dave Griner Room, RPAC

Activities are planned to help participants express their feelings surrounding sexual violence.  Survivors and Co-Survivors of Sexual Violence are invited to attend this healing experience.

Candlelight Vigil   8:30-9:30pm   RPAC Pavilion

The candlelight vigil will follow the healing event for survivors and co-survivors.  However, it is open to anyone who wants to participate in a symbolic act to show our unity.  Sexual violence affects everyone and, at the Ohio State University, we have pledged and proclaimed our desire to end sexual violence.  This event will help recognize our shared goal and provide an opportunity for reflection on the week of events.


Free showing of “Precious: Based on the novel Push by Sapphire”   7-9pm   Hagerty Hall 180

This movie depicts a survivor’s story and if you’ve wanted to see it, this can be one way to watch it in good company. Students are encouraged to come and bring a friend.  Advocates will be available, if participants need to talk.


Spring 2010 Power Puff Championship Game  3:30pm (after the Buckeye Spring Game) on turf field behind RPAC.    Playoff games on 4/13 and 4/23.