Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Let’s get tested for HIV together

In order to stay safe and healthy, test yourself after a new partner.
Diana Morales
Xander Larios (to the left) and Gerardo Gutierrez (on the right) ready to welcome everyone getting tested.

Bienestar visited the Cerritos College campus on March 20 at 10 a.m. to encourage students and staff to get tested for HIV.

They parked their van right outside the performing arts building where they also had a stand filled with informational pamphlets of all sorts of programs they provide.

Approaching the Bienestar stand, I was welcomed by Community Outreach Coordinator Xander Larios.

Here he had me fill out a form with all my basic information (name, age and consent to get the test done) and there were two students ahead of me but the overall time I spent there was around thirty minutes.

Going inside the van there was a small table with two seats, which is room enough for only the HIV tester and yourself. The team made sure to sterilize the area before performing the test.

The test itself is nothing to be scared of and doesn’t take long at all and after answering further more personal questions regarding how sexuality/how sexually active you are, the HIV counselor then begins to prep the test.

It’s a quick easy prick to the middle finger or index finger of your choice; The drops of blood are then collected into a small vial.

The infographic provides basic information regarding the the HIV prescribed medicine PrEP, which reduces your chance of getting HIV from sex. (Diana Morales)

The test results take only one minute to show up! Being a queer woman myself, I encourage people to take advantage of all the resources we’re being provided with.

This process was so easy and effective that everyone should consider getting tested. The prick on the finger didn’t even make me flinch — and needles scare me.

“We’ve been busy,” Isaiah Teraero, HIV counselor, said, “That’s a good thing though. people are taking advantage of the free resources.”

Approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S. have HIV and about 13 percent of them don’t know it and need testing.

The LGBTQ+ community is prominently stigmatized as being the only one who gets HIV but anyone can get it.

Men reporting heterosexual contact accounted for 7% (2,400) of estimated new HIV infections. Women reporting heterosexual contact accounted for 15% (5,300) of estimated new HIV infections.

“We emphasize on the LGBTQ and Latinx but we cater to everyone,” Gerardo Gutierrez, Community Coordinator said with a smile.

Bienestar is an amazing organization that has many different programs for people. As of right now, there are only six community health centers.

They are located in East LA, South LA, Hollywood, Long Beach, Pomona and San Fernando Valley

They also have different sorts of support groups like Grupo Love; which is a group where lesbians can connect and socialize with other lesbians. Here they can voice any concerns and opinions.

The group meets up here to educate on LGBT matters, STDs and overall what the community can do to improve.

Another group they gave us Trans Formando Vidas. This group helps Transwomen of Color who are seeking different sorts of assistance. Bienestar is ready to help women in need of any work, mentorship programs and legal work.

Bienestar will continue to be showing up on campus throughout the weeks from March 27 to April 6 so keep your eye out!


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About the Contributor
Diana Morales
Diana Morales, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Diana Morales plans on transferring to a cal state in the near future to gain more experience. Her goal as a journalist is to work for a fashion magazine company and then eventually create her own. She also aspires on working on the radio or as a social media manager.
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Let’s get tested for HIV together