CDC trying out free rapid AIDS test at drugstores

Associated Press
Walgreen's pharmacy manager Sarah Freedman stands in her store in Washington, Tuesday, June 26, 2012.  Would you go to a pharmacy to get tested for the AIDS virus? Health officials want to know. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday announced a $1.2 million pilot project to offer free rapid HIV tests at pharmacies and clinics in 24 cities and rural communities.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
.

View gallery

ATLANTA (AP) — Would you go to a drugstore for an AIDS test?

Health officials want to know, and they've set up a pilot program to find out.

The $1.2 million project will offer free rapid HIV tests at pharmacies and in-store clinics in 24 cities and rural communities, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday.

Officials are hoping testing for the AIDS virus will become a routine service at drugstores like blood pressure checks and flu shots.

"By bringing HIV testing into pharmacies, we believe we can reach more people by making testing more accessible and reduce the stigma associated with HIV," CDC's Dr. Kevin Fenton said in a statement. He oversees the agency's HIV prevention programs.

The tests are already available at seven places, and the CDC will soon pick 17 more locations.

The HIV test is a swab inside the mouth and takes about 20 minutes for a preliminary result. The test maker says it's correct 99 percent of the time. If the test is positive, customers will be referred to a local health department or other health-care providers for a lab blood test to confirm the results, counseling and treatment.

When the project ends next summer, CDC officials will analyze what worked well and what didn't, said Paul Weidle, the epidemiologist who is heading up the project.

An estimated 1.1 million Americans are infected with HIV, but as many as 20 percent of them don't know they carry the virus, according to the CDC. It can take a decade or more for an infection to cause symptoms and illness.

Since 2006, the CDC has recommended that all Americans ages 13 to 64 get tested at least once, not just those considered at highest risk: gay men and intravenous drug users. But fewer than half of adults younger than 65 have been tested, according to the agency's most recent statistics.

It's important to know about infection not only for treating the condition but also to take steps to prevent spreading it to others. An HIV diagnosis used to be a death sentence, but medications now allow those infected to live longer and healthier lives.

On special occasions, health organizations have sent workers to some drugstores to offer HIV testing. This week, Walgreens — the nation's largest chain of pharmacies — is teaming with health departments and AIDS groups to offer free tests in 20 cities.

But the CDC program is different: It's an effort to train staff at the pharmacies to do the testing themselves, and perhaps make it a permanent service.

"I'm excited. It's such a new and novel thing for us," said Sarah Freedman, who manages a Walgreens in Washington, D.C., that is participating in the pilot program.

At her pharmacy, prominent signs advertise the test but the testing is done in a private room. They've also taken steps to make sure that a customer can very quietly request the test. For example, they've put out stacks of special test request cards — they look like business cards — at George Washington University and nearby businesses. Anyone seeking a test can simply hand the card to the clerk, she said.

Only three or four customers have gone through with a test in the first few weeks.

"We get a lot of questions," she said. "Usually they get the information and they go and sit on it and think about it."

There's a second Walgreens in Washington offering the test, as well as branches in Chicago and Lithonia, Ga. Other test sites: East Pines Pharmacy in Riverdale, Md., Mike's Pharmacy in Oakland, Calif. and a federal Indian Health Service location in Billings, Mont.

Each location will get enough tests to check 200 to 300 people. Made by OraSure Technologies Inc., the $17.50 test is the only government-approved rapid HIV test that uses saliva. Other rapid tests on the market analyze a finger-prick blood sample.

Rapid tests are used routinely in doctor's offices, hospitals and clinics.

The OraSure test can also use a blood sample but the CDC drugstore program will use a mouth swab, said company spokesman Ron Ticho. The stick-like testing device is used to wipe the inside of the mouth, then it is put in a solution. If two lines appear, that indicates a positive test.

The company is seeking government approval to sell it over-the-counter for home testing. A decision is expected later this year.

The test is sold in about 40 countries. Ticho said he is not aware of another country where pharmacies routinely offer the testing.

___

Online:

CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/

Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.

    Recommended for You

    • The internet roasts a photo of Donald Trump writing his inauguration speech

      When times get tough, at least you can still meme. President-elect Donald Trump is slated to deliver his inauguration address on Friday, so he teased his Twitter followers with a little behind-the-scenes photo of himself writing a speech at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. SEE ALSO: Don's Johns: Port-a-potties get censored for Trump’s inauguration Writing my inaugural address at the Winter White House, Mar-a-Lago, three weeks ago. Looking forward to Friday. #Inauguration pic.twitter.com/S701FdTCQu — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2017 The staged photo and Trump's cold, dead gaze sent the internet straight into "meme mode alpha," where it was pointed out that Trump was actually holding Sharpie marker, which may or may not actually be closed. @realDonaldTrump that is a blank piece of paper and you're holding a closed sharpie pic.twitter.com/ekCcH8eTXe — Jules Suzdaltsev (@jules_su) January 18, 2017 @cajunmonkey439 @realDonaldTrump It is *obviously* a sharpie. pic.twitter.com/gdD2AUhBKX — Jules Suzdaltsev (@jules_su) January 18, 2017 .@realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/8CSroNshBR — XpeK (@peKofX) January 18, 2017 Surprised that you didn't just use this photo as your epic, bigly speech pic.twitter.com/SezwzToFg4 — Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) January 18, 2017 good job @realDonaldTrump pic.twitter.com/Ioj869Tfy3 — uhhh (@_uhhhhhhh) January 18, 2017 pic.twitter.com/pAKcXAEAkD — Sam Grittner (@SamGrittner) January 18, 2017 @realDonaldTrump #NotMyPresident #TheResistance #conflict #Putin #Inauguration In house security cam Mar a Lago pic.twitter.com/diwnpjAS3F — Beo Bachter (@kaysintBB) January 18, 2017 Early draft of Donald Trump’s inauguration speech. #TrumpSpeech #MyFirstWordsAsPresident #MAGA pic.twitter.com/qgo1glv5cG — Tom ❄️ (@TommieWho) January 18, 2017 Exclusive sneak peek at Trump's inauguration speech! pic.twitter.com/6W6ex0Ks3z — Kara Calavera (@KaraCalavera) January 18, 2017 Trump's Inaugural address leaked... pic.twitter.com/J8soJQ4Ira — Jordan Uhl (@JordanUhl) January 18, 2017 Exclusive: #Trump's Inauguration speech leaked! #TrumpInaugural #trumpgrammar pic.twitter.com/XzrXXpnjxD — Gerry Stergiopoulos (@GerryGreek) January 18, 2017 According to CNN, Trump did write his inauguration speech himself. BONUS: NBD, just a massive alligator out for a stroll

      Mashable
    • Foreclosed mall once valued at $190M is auctioned for $100

      TARENTUM, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania mall that was foreclosed on after its owners failed to repay $143 million has been auctioned off for $100.

      Associated Press
    • Ex-president George H.W. Bush moved to intensive care; wife hospitalized

      Bush, who at 92 is the nation's oldest living ex-president, has been at Houston Methodist Hospital since Saturday after experiencing shortness of breath, family spokesman Jim McGrath said on Wednesday. Since then, Bush experienced an "acute respiratory problem stemming from pneumonia" and was sedated for the unspecified procedure, his office said.

      Reuters
    • Giant Florida Gator Is Not For Tourists, Nature Preserve Staff Warn

      Officials for the county's natural resources division said, although, they appreciate the attention the nature reserve has been getting, they are also worried about the safety of visitors and wildlife.

      International Business Times
    • Virginia man convicted of 2006 slaying of family is executed

      JARRATT, Va. (AP) — A man convicted of killing a family of four, slashing their throats and setting their home ablaze after they left their front door open while preparing for a New Year's Day party in 2006, was executed Wednesday.

      Associated Press
    • Search Suspended for Dad and 3-Year-Old Son Swept Out to Sea as Wife Looked On

      Authorities had spent 22 hours searching for them by air.

      Inside Edition
    • Is your diet changing your gut bacteria? (7 photos)

      Did you know you have trillions of bacteria living inside your body right now? And that’s not a bad thing. These bacteria form the microbiome and when functioning well, these little microbes protect you from harmful invaders, help build your immune system, and play a role in vitamin and short chain fatty acid synthesis.  Imbalances in the intestinal microbiome has been linked to the potential for autoimmune disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bowel disease, cardiovascular disease and even obesity and metabolic syndrome . Research is constantly ongoing and emerging in this field. An interesting fact is that your microbiome is completely different and unique when compared to another individual’s. We are colonized when we are born by the microbes in our environment, then furthermore when we’re exposed to breastmilk or formula, and when we begin to eat solid foods.  Once theory suggests that with the emergence of agriculture, animal husbandry, sanitation, and antibiotics, our microbiome has transformed into one that more easily allows the growth of pathogenic bacteria, resulting in allergies, autoimmune disorders, and irritable bowel disease.  The proposition is that depending upon our environment and what we eat, certain harmful or beneficial bacteria are promoted to grow in the body. To test the effects of diet and environment on gut bacteria, Fillipo et al.  conducted a small study in 2010 comparing the fecal microbiota of European children to the fecal microbiota of children from a rural African village.  The European children. who lived in urban areas in Florence, Italy, had been breastfed for a year and consumed a diet that was high in animal protein, fat, starch, sugar, and low in fibre.  The African children, who lived in rural Boulpon in Burkina Faso, were breastfed for up to two years and consumed a diet low in animal protein and fat, and high in starch, plants and fibre. Their food came from nearby villages and specifically included millet, sorghum, black-eye peas, and vegetables. During the rainy season, these children sometimes consumed small amounts of chicken or termites. The researchers found that the African children had a greater proportion of short chain fatty acid producing bacteria (which are thought to have anti-inflammatory properties) and greater microbial diversity when compared to the European children. The African children also had lower proportions of harmful, diarrhea causing  Shigella  and  Escherichia  bacteria than the European children. Although the study mentioned above is small and research in this area is ongoing, it is widely known that a diet low in processed sugars and high in fibre and plants is associated with lower cholesterol, improved cardiovascular health, improved blood sugar control, decreased inflammation, and decreased risk of certain cancers.  Why not make peace with your body and the microbiome in your gut and try out some of my signature plant-powered meals and snacks below.  For more creative, delicious, healthy, recipes and expert nutrition information, stay connected with me at RADNUT , Twitter , Facebook , and Instagram !

      Robin Arora-Desilet, Yahoo Health & Nutrition Blogger
    • North Korea's Kim Jong Un Is So Fat He Might Have Hurt His Ankle Again

      Kim's leg injuries have been linked to obesity in the past and recent pictures show the Korean leader appears to have put on extra weight. 

      International Business Times
    • J.K. Rowling has a cutting response to Trump's quote about 'heroes'

      LONDON — It's surely only a matter of time before Donald Trump goes on a wild, 5am Twitter rant about J.K. Rowling. The Harry Potter author has been aiming a steady campaign of social media-based ribbing at the President-elect for a while now — and in the last week her volume of Trump-based burns have really peaked. SEE ALSO: J.K. Rowling just burned Donald Trump for the 2nd time in 24 hours This one started when journalist Daniel Dale shared an extract from Michael Gove's recent interview with Trump. The question was one about heroes. Trump was asked if he has any heroes. Answer: https://t.co/3idRsQFQoN pic.twitter.com/yGyjx1q1Bl — Daniel Dale (@ddale8) January 16, 2017 That's a lot of rambling to pick apart, but — luckily — J.K. Rowling was on hand to condense it into a helpful 140 characters: "Heroes? Me, because I am innately awesome and you can't learn this, but a bit my dad, who must've been kinda ok, cos he made me." https://t.co/WYJQ8chAxd — J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 17, 2017 Ouch. Throughout the morning, Rowling has continued tweeting about Trump. @jk_rowling it is a sad life when one does not have heroes. — zeckle3 (@zeckle3) January 17, 2017  https://t.co/5z1V1TsYBm — J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 17, 2017 Almost everyone in Europe dreads the Trump presidency. Everyone, except fascists - @alexmassie in @politicohttps://t.co/EzhdXUkNj4 — J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 17, 2017 @jk_rowling @alexmassie @politico What if you’re neither dreading Trumps presidency or a fascist? — Luke Parker (@MrLParker) January 17, 2017 Then I want some of what you're smoking. https://t.co/pcXzOf1JZm — J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) January 17, 2017 We're calling it: he's going to tweet something negative about Harry Potter any day now.  It's only a matter of time. BONUS: J.K. Rowling weighs in hard on the Donald Trump/Meryl Streep feud

      Mashable
    • Hall of Famer Willie McCovey pardoned by Obama

      SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco Giants Hall of Famer Willie McCovey has been pardoned by President Barack Obama on tax evasion charges from 1995.

      Associated Press
    • One Big Reason Not to Buy Nintendo Switch

      The Nintendo Switch is a pretty versatile gaming machine, but don't count on it replacing your home streaming box anytime soon. According to several reports, Nintendo's $299 portable/home console hybrid won't have any significant entertainment features when it releases on March 3, meaning you'll have to get your Netflix and Hulu fix elsewhere. Business Insider spoke to Nintendo's Kit Ellis, who said that the Switch "won't have many multimedia features at launch." While this doesn't rule out the possibility of popular streaming apps coming to the platform later this year, it seems like you'll be strictly playing games on the Switch on release date (and besides the stunning new Zelda title, there aren't many notable launch games).

      Tech Media Network (Tom's Guide)
    • Undocumented worker sues San Francisco for violating sanctuary law

      The lawsuit was filed on Tuesday on behalf of Pedro Figueroa Zarceno, 32, in federal court in San Francisco against the city and its police chief for violating his right to due process and breaking an ordinance barring municipal employees from cooperating with federal immigration authorities seeking to deport a person. Figueroa walked into a police station in November 2015 to report his car stolen, according to the lawsuit. The civil action comes as San Francisco and dozens of other U.S. cities face pressure from President-elect Donald Trump, who takes office on Friday, to abandon their policies of limiting cooperation between law enforcement officers and U.S. immigration authorities.

      Reuters
    • Anger at skeletal sun bears in Indonesian zoo

      Animal rights activists Wednesday demanded the closure of an Indonesian zoo after skeletal sun bears were pictured begging for food from visitors and eating their own dung. The bears at the zoo in the city of Bandung were shown waving their arms in the air inside their enclosure -- with their ribs visible through their fur -- as people hurled food at them. Many of Indonesia's zoos are poorly maintained and there are regular reports of animals dying in captivity.

      AFP
    • Cowboys delay talk of Romo's future, likely knowing answer

      FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Those closest to Tony Romo on the Cowboys aren't ready to discuss the future of the Dallas quarterback, probably because they know the likely final answer.

      Associated Press
    • Teen Abducted 18 Years Ago Says She Will Have '2 Moms,' but Still Loves Accused Kidnapper

      She says she speaks to the accused kidnapper every day despite the woman's arrest for abducting her 18 years ago.

      Inside Edition
    • Teen Abducted 18 Years Ago Doesn't Want to See Alleged Kidnapper Jailed: 'She Will Always Be Mom'

      'I understand what she did was wrong but just don't lock her up and throw away the key like everything she did was awful,' Kamiyah Mobley said.

      Inside Edition
    • Commentator: Hillary Clinton is the legitimate president

      HuffPo contributor Alex Mohajer argues that a federal judge should intervene because Russian hackers swayed the election and the popular vote makes Hillary Clinton 'The People's President.' Tucker takes him on in a spirited debate #Tucker

      FOX News Videos
    • Donald Trump Tells Democrats Boycotting His Inauguration: Give Me Your Tickets

      'I don't want the celebrities there. I want the people there,' Trump spouted.

      Inside Edition
    • 'General Hospital' star Ryan Paevey talks soap role, photography hobby

      Actor Ryan Paevey, who plays Nathan West on the ABC soap "General Hospital" discussed the show and his outside interests in a visit to the Eyewitness News set.

      KABC – Los Angeles