ATLANTA - Advocates said it is more important than ever for people living in metro Atlanta to get tested for HIV.
Monday marked National HIV Testing Day and counselors from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation administered more than 150 rapid HIV tests from their mobile testing unit.
“We do free one minute HIV testing with a test called Insti,” explained Reggie Batiste, a certified counselor. “Atlanta has the highest rate for new infections for HIV. So, it’s very important that you get tested.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over their lifetime, Americans have an HIV infection rate of one in 99. That rate is much higher for states in the south. Georgia's rate is one in 51.
The mobile testing unit is designed to make testing easy. The test is free and the process, said Batiste, takes less than five minutes per client.
Counselors staff the van Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m.
“There's no reason for you not to want to get tested and it's nothing to be afraid of,” said Batiste. “If you see the mobile van out in the community, I promise you everything is confidential. We don’t share your information. Everyone is well trained.”
To schedule an appointment with the mobile testing unit, visit freehivtest.net/hiv-mobile-testing-program.