The drug store chain, Walgreens, is partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to start offering free rapid HIV testing at some test locations. The partnership is an attempt between the two to provide HIV testing to those who may not have an option. This is an early trial period for this free service and only select locations in Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Lithonia, Georgia will be able to test customers.
The director of the CDC, Jonathan Mermin, says,”Our goal is to make HIV testing and routine as a blood pressure check.” The CDC estimates that 1.1 million Americans have HIV, but nearly 20 percent of them do not know they are infected. The CDC says that late diagnosis and development of the disease into full-blown AIDS often means that many have already transmitted the disease to partners.
The test will involve a swab of the mouth and the results should be ready in about 20 minutes. However, NYU Langone Medical Center’s director of medical ethics, Art Caplan, feels the test may do more harm than good. Caplan says,”A positive HIV test is something that requires adequate counseling and support.”
If you suspected you were HIV positive, would you get tested at a Walgreens? Is it right to offer free testing at Walgreens? Leave us a comment below and let us know your thoughts.
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