More HIV tests in Bexar County; more positive results
SAN ANTONIO (August 8, 2015)– The San Antonio AIDS Foundation recently opened a new branch on Hackberry Street, because they are much busier, partly because so many more people are coming in for testing.
The number of people with HIV in Bexar County is close to twice the national average, according to the latest data from Metro Health.
“The results come in 60 seconds, so it’s not a two-week wait, it’s not a 20 minute wait anymore,” said Regina Villalobos-Perez of the San Antonio AIDS Foundation.
“Sixty seconds can feel like ten minutes when you were waiting for a result. A week can feel like years, so I think we’ve come along way and it’s definitely helpful,” said Rosie, who we saw get tested for HIV.
She said she knows how important it is to get your status. “If you don’t have something nothing is magically going to appear, but if you know and take the steps necessary to take care of yourself, information and education never hurt anybody,” said Rosie.
“This is something that is not going away and every year we see an increase in those infected by HIV,” said San Antonio AIDS Foundation Director of Prevention Education, Vanessa Zuniga.
According to Metro Health, In Bexar County between 2012 and 2013, the number of positive HIV Infections diagnosed increased 11 percent. During that same time, young men ages 15 to 19 saw a jump of 58 percent in the number of positive tests. Also, men are more than 9 times as likely to test positive than women.
Metro Health said part of that spike could be from a multi-year campaign to get people tested. The AIDS Foundation said they’ve seen more tests too. “We still want to urge the public to continue to test for HIV, because many people feel like they are not necessarily at risk,” said Zuniga.
One of the ways the AIDS Foundation offer their free HIV tests, is by fundraising, like this Sunday’s “Bid and Brunch” from 10:30am til 2:30pm at The Red Oak Ballroom. Click this link for the details.