LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — A southern Indiana group is expanding a program that tests for HIV and hepatitis C.
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation in Scott County hopes to reach more people with its mobile testing van. Patients can get their results in minutes and never have to drive to a clinic.
Staci Mullins, a patient advocate for the organization, said the program will now reach six counties once it expands to Bartholomew County this week. Two workers travel to remote areas and provide free HIV and hepatitis C testing. The INSTI HIV test can provide results in 60 seconds. The hepatitis C test gives results in less than 10 minutes.
The van started testing in 2015 after an HIV outbreak in Scott County, and since then, the number of positive tests are dropping faster than expected.
“The CDC had stated that within 2017, there would probably be 25 positive HIV tests in Scott County,” Mullins said. “There were only eight.”
The organization found five of the cases in Scott County last year, several using the van. Last year, the van tested more than 700 people, and this year, it could reach even more.
The program is trying to get the word out about the latest HIV and hepatitis C treatments.
“It’s something that anyone can transmit, and we want to make sure everyone stays healthy and knows their status,” Mullins said.
The Bartholomew County testing starts from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Salvation Army in Columbus.