San Francisco gay TV show will feature live HIV test

BY Matthew Van Atta

October 21 2005 11:00 PM ET

Out Spoken, a gay-themed cable TV show airing
in the San Francisco Bay area, will mark its one-year
anniversary next week by having its host take a rapid
HIV antibody test and receive his results on the air.
Program host Tim Gaskin will take an OraQuick rapid
HIV test, which uses an oral swab to test for HIV
antibodies, and be given the results of the test 20
minutes later on the program.

Gaskin says the
program will mark the first time an HIV test is
administered and results given on a television program aired
in California. State AIDS officials had to craft a
unique testing protocol for the program because
standard HIV antibody testing regulations include
requirements that test results remain confidential and that
counseling sessions be offered before and after
testing to test takers, Gaskin says.

The one-year
anniversary episode of Out Spoken includes the
live HIV test to help raise awareness that rapid testing is
now widely available throughout the city, Gaskin says.
Recipients of standard HIV antibody tests have to
return days later to receive their results, and as
many as one third of those tested never come back for
them, AIDS experts say. Many people at risk for HIV
infection also are never screened for HIV infection
because of the long delays or because they do not wish
to have their blood drawn for testing. Gaskin and other
AIDS advocates hope that promoting rapid testing will
encourage more people to be screened for the disease.

Out Spoken is a monthly talk show and
newsmagazine program airing in the San Francisco area. The
program featuring Gaskin’s rapid HIV test will
debut at 6:30 p.m. on October 25 on Comcast channel
11, and repeat at 8:30 p.m. on October 26, at 7 p.m.
on October 29, and at 8 p.m. on October 30. The episode also
includes segments on James Hormel, San Francisco radio
personalities Fernando Ventura and Greg the Gay
Sportscaster, Miss Trannyshack 2004’s Anna
Conda, and Bay Area Reporter columnist and drag
performer Donna Sachet. (Advocate.com)

Tags: Health

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