National HIV Testing Day Enabling Mobile Testing in Northern Alabama
Sunday is National HIV Testing Day.
Now more than ever, Thrive Alabama and the Alabama Department of Public Health want you to know your status.
Due to COVID, the state says fewer people are being screened or tested and WAAY-31 has learned help will come to you if you need it.
At Thrive Alabama you can either come to the office to get tested or if you don’t feel comfortable they have a mobile bus that can come to you.
All thanks to a subsidy they received from the state.
The goal is to reach more people in rural communities who may not have access to testing at the moment.
“We have people in the community. We have HIV officers in this district who will meet you where you are if you want to be tested. So there are ways to do it, we just need to do a better job of educating the public on how to get tested, ”Jora White said.
Jora White is the director of the HIV prevention arm at the Alabama Department of Public Health.
This weekend ADHD, along with Thrive Alabama, battled HIV and there Thrive used their mobile test unit.
The aim is to provide a comfortable test environment.
“It can’t come from someone sitting behind a desk. You have to bring these things into the community, so that people feel more comfortable with them and want to engage with them,” said Erin Bortel. .
Erin Bortel is the Director of Health Education at Thrive.
Inside, she says two people can get tested with a kit that will give you results in just a minute.
Bortel says if you can’t join them or if you don’t feel comfortable yet, don’t worry.
“The Thrive mobile will work in 12 counties in northern Alabama in community venues and honestly wherever we are invited we will come,” she said.
Bortel and White say that knowing your status is very important not only to you but also to your partner.
Even if your HIV test is positive, more and more treatment options are becoming available.
“There has been so much progress from the beginning to now that no one is dying of HIV or AIDS. And now we see it as a chronic disease because again, it’s treatable, it’s not curable but it’s treatable, “says Blanc.
The events do not end there.
Both say they will be in the community to continue spreading the word about getting tested and knowing your status.
They want you to know no matter what, they will help you navigate through it all.