HIV Test Now Available With Driver's License In DC
Those in need of an HIV test in southeast Washington, D.C. can now get one at their local Department of Motor Vehicles, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.
"You have to meet people where they are," Sheila Brockington, who oversees the testing, told the AP. "You're waiting anyway. You might as well."
Health officials began testing out the screening program in October, and since then, more than 5,000 people have gotten results while they waited.
A nonprofit group, Family and Medical Counseling Service Inc., tests DMV visitors and give them their results in a private room. The group is using a $250,000 and has the support of the city health department. On Monday, they began a plan to expand the venture and tested 60 people at the local government assistance office, passing out $5 grocery gift cards.
A report in June showed that about 1.1 million Americans had HIV 2008, and about 10 to 20 percent of U.S. adults are tested each year, according to the AP.
About 25 to 35 people get tested each day at the DMV location. Anyone who volunteers gets $7 off services. Less than 1 percent have tested positive, which is below the citywide rate of 3 percent. Those who test positive get counseling and ride to see a doctor.
"We need to be looking for creative ways to reach people who haven't tested in the past," Chris Collins, vice president and public policy director for The Foundation for AIDS Research, told the AP, praising the program's innovative approach.