New York City Hospitals To Offer Rapid HIV Tests
New York City hospitals will soon begin offering rapid HIV tests to "tens of thousands" of people, the New York Daily News reports. Under a deal negotiated by New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D), OraSure Technologies will provide hospitals in the city with its OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV 1/2 Antibody Test at no cost (Lucadamo, New York Daily News, 3/30). The OraQuick test requires users to swab their gums and then place the swab in a holder. After 20 minutes, one line appears on the strip if the test result is negative and the person is HIV-negative, and two appear if the result is positive and the person is HIV-positive. Positive results require a follow-up test with a medical professional for confirmation (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 8/15/07).
The New York City Health and Hospital Corporation, which runs hospitals in the city, hopes to test 150,000 people this year and 160,000 people next year under the program. HHC, as well as community and religious leaders throughout the city, will encourage people at high risk of HIV, especially black and Hispanic youth, to receive tests, according to the Daily News. The groups also will promote the program at community health fairs this spring.
According to CDC, about one-third of people who are tested for HIV at public health clinics do not return for the results. The number of new AIDS diagnoses among people ages 13 to 26 in the city increased by 6% in 2006, the Daily News reports (New York Daily News, 3/30).