A trip to your local drugstore could soon include a free HIV test.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced a $1.2 million pilot program that will offer free rapid HIV tests at pharmacies and in-store clinics in 24 cities and rural communities.
More after the jump.
Dr. Kevin Fenton, who oversees the CDC's HIV prevention programs says in a statement: "We believe we can reach more people by making testing more accessible and reduce the stigma associated with HIV."
According to the Associated Press, the tests are already available at seven places, including Washington, D.C., Oakland, Calif., and an Indian health service clinic in Montana. The CDC will soon pick 17 more locations.
Pharmacies, like Walgreens, will be administering an OraSure swab HIV test inserted into the mouth. Results are 99% accurate and are available in 20 minutes.
Tests will be completed in a private room and results will be delivered face-to-face.
Customers will be able to discreetly request the test by taking a test request card, which will look like a business card, and simply hand the card to the clerk. These test request cards will also be placed at local businesses, so customers can actually walk into the clinic/pharmacy with the card discreetly in hand.
The drugstores are expected to keep the test confidential. Those individuals with positive tests will be referred to the local health department or other health care providers for a lab blood test to confirm the results, counseling and treatment.
What do you think, Instincters? Could this lead to HIV testing becoming as common as a flu shot? Would you be more likely to get tested at a pharmacy or a traditional health clinic?