Hope and Help, an AIDS/HIV community service organization, will offer free rapid oral HIV tests and counseling to UCF students and faculty and staff members.

Beginning in the fall, free testing will take place the third Wednesday of every month in the Student Union from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Test results will be available within 20 minutes. In addition, a bus from Hope and Help will be stationed in front of the Recreation and Wellness Center to provide free testing on Tuesday, August 24.

While waiting for results, patients can speak with trained peer HIV counselors from the Wellness Center. Patients also may follow up with an on-campus HIV counselor for more information or counseling.

This new initiative comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encouraged health agencies to expand HIV tests for their patients. The UCF Health Center also hopes offering the tests for free will encourage more people to get tested.

Health Services currently offers HIV testing to students who come in for appointments. The options include a regular blood test that is sent to a lab with results available in a few days and a finger prick test with results available in 20 minutes. Call 407-823-3850 to schedule an appointment.

The Wellness Center also offers daily testing by peer educators for a nominal fee. The test is an oral swab of the check with results available in two weeks. Appointments may be scheduled by calling 407-823-4851.

For more information, visit www.hs.ucf.edu.