14 tested and estimated 300 educated on National HIV Testing Day
HARC put on an HIV testing tour in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area to spread awareness and provide free, rapid testing.
The resource center’s mobile outreach vehicle made stops at the Maple Village Pharmacy at 325 N. Maple Road, Walgreens at 2170 Washtenaw Ave., and Harmony House Motel, 615 E. Michigan Ave.
Leo Golson, director of the prevention program at HARC, said a lot of people showed interest in the cause even if they weren’t at the site to get tested.
“It’s import to plant that seed of awareness,” Golson said. “Just talking with people and getting the word out can get individuals to consider it and think about it, which is an important part of prevention.”
Jimena Loveluck, President and CEO of HARC, said the tour was a good way to make sure people are aware the agency exists not only for education, but for free HIV testing as well.
“Even if people didn’t make the decision to get tested then and there, they now know the resources to get tested are available to them,” Loveluck said. None of the 14 people tested by the mobile outreach vehicle Thursday tested positive, Loveluck said.
“We tested quite a few relatively high-risk people,” Loveluck said. “But luckily they all tested negative and we’re glad they came in to get checked.”
For people who do test positive, HARC links them with the information and medical care they need, Loveluck said.
“We provide support for those who test positive,” Loveluck said. “All the more reason to get tested and have that help made available to you if you need it.”
HARC provides free anonymous HIV testing, counseling and referral services on a regular basis. For more information visit HARC’s website.
Chelsea Hoedl is an intern reporter for AnnArbor.com. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.