Health care is accessible to Pittsburgh college students

STD testing and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) are often available for free in Pittsburgh.

Written By August Stephens, Opinions Editor

Healthcare is one of those subjects which quickly become more controversial as you get older. Suddenly getting an annual check-up might be skipped for years just to avoid spending money. The complexities of American medical care creates layers which cannot be delved into fully in this article. Students in Pittsburgh may have easier access to healthcare than expected for them as a whole.


Planned Parenthood and the Central Outreach Wellness Center are two wellness centers in Pittsburgh which are available to students. Appointments often need to be made, but there are a variety of resources they have for younger people.


For example, you should not have to pay for STD testing in Pittsburgh. It is free and confidential for Central Outreach patients. Planned Parenthood care is either free or on a sliding scale basis depending on income. Everyone should get tested regardless of how safe they may think their sexual health history has been in the past. It is always a great opportunity to make sure you and your partner(s) are safe.


Pregnancy is also a main life experience which health centers and hospitals can offer support for to young adults. If you are thinking of going to a hospital first, please know your insurance information. Coverage varies based on company and personal treatment. A person’s race or ethnicity can determine the quality and pace of care. There are also chat streams where certified medical professionals can answer your questions about pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and postpartum topics.


Additionally, transgender hormone therapy is open to students through other organizations as well. Hormone replacement therapy may be more difficult to receive when not in downtown Pittsburgh, due to outside LGBTQIA+ legislature.


Point Park students, faculty, and staff in the future could work with the Hugh Lane Wellness Foundation. They provide training, legal, and food services for queer people.


Hormone blockers for people who are not gender diverse are also available. There are medical situations where cisgender people do not have enough estrogen or testosterone. They need similar access and care for health concerns which may appear at any given time.


Pennsylvania’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program helps with the purchase of food. This includes access to food banks and certain groceries in stores. Personally supporting organizations such as Food Not Bombs, a community-based organization, is also a way to get nutritionally fulfilling food. If you do not qualify for SNAP, you can also offer to volunteer to aid with food distribution.


Students should not have to worry about health concerns when balancing coursework, jobs, and extracurriculars. Health insurance, if not a dependent, athlete, or COPA student, is often unaffordable for young students. Even when offered through an employer, health insurance is typically too expensive to pay for every year. It is detrimental to a student’s health if they cannot be well when working through their daily routine. There are resources for you in Pittsburgh. All people deserve access to affordable and safe healthcare, no matter their personal identities.