As the world focused on the AIDS crisis yesterday, officials said a large number of Iowans and UI students were tested for HIV so far this year. The Planned Parenthood sites across Iowa have issued 1,500 more tests so far in 2008 than in 2007.
Daily Iowan reports: Though no exact reason was given for the substantial increase, one official attributed it to more sites offering rapid HIV tests, which only take 20 minutes to develop.
“We love to see the increase, and we hope to move all of our sites [to rapid testing] by January 2009,” said Lindsay Eliason, the HIV integration project coordinator at Planned Parenthood for Greater Iowa. “It is really great.”
In 2006, the CDC said HIV tests should be a routine part of medical care for people age 13 to 64. Two local groups made that recommendation a little easier Monday by offering free HIV testing at the Iowa City Public Library. The Iowa Center for AIDS Resources and Education (ICARE) teamed up with the Johnson County Public Health to offer the testing on World AIDS Day.
“You hear about HIV in Africa, but HIV at home is still a concern,” ICARE program manager Heidi Cuda said. “It is out there [in Iowa], and we want people to get tested – it just takes that one time.”