CDC To Offer Free AIDS Tests
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) took their fight against AIDS/HIV one step further. They’ve just announced they’ll offer free testing kits across the country!
It’ll now be easier to get tested for HIV/AIDS. Customers can now receive rapid testing at their local drugstore. The project costs $1.2 million dollars and will be available in 24 cities.
“By bringing HIV testing into pharmacies, we believe we can reach more people by making testing more accessible and reduce the stigma associated with HIV,” said Dr. Kevin Fenton, who oversees the CDC’s HIV prevention programs. As of now the tests have been placed in seven cities, with plans to expand to the remaining 17 locations.
Boasting a 99 percent accuracy rate, patients will receive the results 20 minutes after swabbing their mouths with cotton. Given the high number of HIV/AIDS cases in the Black community, Sara Freedman, a Walgreen’s manager in Washington D.C., is happy about the plan.
“I’m excited,” she said. Statistics posted in 2009 show that roughly 23 percent of D.C. resident have HIV and AIDS, a 22 percent increase since 2006. Taking away some of the stigma behind getting tested, may help curb the numbers.
“It’s such a new and novel thing for us,” Freeman added.
According to the CDC, in 2009, 21,652 thousand Black people contracted the virus, doubling the cases found in whites which sat at 11,803, and surpassing Latinos at 7,347.
It’s good to see the CDC is taking measures to raise awareness and cut the numbers of those infected. Knowing your status is one of the most important assets to maintaining a healthy life!
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