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Planned Parenthood provides free services at Palomar

Planned Parenthood was on campus on March 8 providing free services for students.

Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest made it’s first regular visit to Palomar in an effort to educate students about what Planned Parenthood can provide for them as a healthcare provider and how they can take advantage of preventative healthcare. Planned Parenthood will return to the college on May 3.

The healthcare provider offered STD and HIV testing, birth control and Plan B One-Step pills, free of charge.

Free tests for HIV, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia were provided along with condoms and other contraceptives. The booth also offered pamphlets with information on various STDs and how to avoid contracting them.

Elva Chavez, the manger of the Planned Parenthood – Vista Isabella Health Center, was running the booth on campus and has been providing these services for the community for several years.

“There’s a lot of public support for us… it’s vital to the community,” she said.

According to Chavez, Planned Parenthood is the primary health care service for many in the area and helps visitors to understand their insurance and optimize the services available to them.

Planned Parenthood isn’t just for pregnancy and sexual health either. Chavez explained how they help people connect with other community resources for victims of domestic abuse and rape, and the homeless.

“We actually have lots of guys come up to us too, wanting to learn about STDs and condoms,” said Ethan Cvitanic, 23, a volunteer from University of California, San Diego.

With President Trump and Paul Ryan vowing to defund Planned Parenthood Chavez isn’t worried at all.

“We’ve been around for 100 years. There’s been other times people have tried to get rid of Planned Parenthood. We’ll just keep helping the community,” Chavez said.

They are actually looking to increase the resources that they make available to the community by making more college visits and attending more health fairs. They were asked to come by students of Palomar.

“We do these booths to help students who might not have insurance or transportation,” Chavez said.

Within a four hour period, Planned Parenthood can provide STD testing to 30-40 people and hand out information on proactive health care to about the same number of people during these college visits.

Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest covers San Diego County, Riverside County and Imperial County. They regularly visit the campuses of Palomar, Riverside Community College and Southwestern College as well as attending most health fairs in the area.

According to Chavez the only complaints they receive are about wait times at their center and confusion over insurance coverage, though they will provide service to anyone whether or not they have insurance.

For more information about services, you can go online to Planned.org or you can visit Health Services in the Health Center.

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