HIV / AIDS testing goes on the road

The ribbon is cut on AIDS Delaware's new HIV / AIDS Testing Van

Testing for HIV / AIDS is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control for anyone between 13 and 65 years old.

That testing can now come to you.

AIDS Delaware has rolled out its HIV / AIDS Testing Van. It's equipped with the ability to administer the test and to produce results within a short time.

Free condoms as well as guidance about contraception and other sexual health concerns are also available.

"One of the primary objectives we have is to test people so that everybody knows their status," AIDS Delaware Executive Director John Gardner said. He estimated that about one in seven people with HIV are not aware of it.

An estimated 3,500 people in Delaware are believed to be living with HIV.

"The CDC would like to see everybody get tested," AIDS Delaware testing coordinator Darcy Brasure said. He added that the fear of the result should not discourage someone from getting tested.

"If you don't know, it's not going away. It's just going to get worse," Brasure said.

The van will be visiting community events. Anyone who is interested in reserving it may contact AIDS Delaware at www.aidsdelaware.org or call 302-652-6776.

"HIV has evolved over the last 30-some years. Initially in the early 80s it was pretty much a death sentence," Gardner said. "As we found out how the virus transmitted and the medical community found different ways to fight it, it's really become a chronic condition but a manageable disease."