Partnership offering free HIV testing in Arizona
PHOENIX — About 15% of Arizonans with HIV don’t know they have it. One group wants to make those three thousand people aware.
The state’s infection rate — especially among blacks and Hispanics — is not dropping, according to Arizona’s Department of Health Services.
“Maricopa County is one of the 48 counties that have been identified by the White House as part of the ‘Ending the Epidemic’ plan,” said Glen Spencer, executive director of Aunt Rita’s Foundation.
He says “Get Tested AZ” will provide free HIV testing to adults at Sonora Quest Laboratories and pharmacies at Walgreens, Albertsons and Safeway to help them avoid stigmas.
“So now, they don’t have to go to a county health clinic or perhaps an AIDS service organization where they might feel some reluctance,” Spencer said.
From there, the program will connect HIV-positive patients to healthcare services, either through their private providers or federally subsidized Ryan White programs.
Spencer also says 40% of all new HIV infections in Arizona are among young persons between the ages of 13 and 29.