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New York's Gay Men's Health Crisis on Tuesday launched a mobile testing van that will expand opportunities for city residents to learn their HIV status. It is estimated that one in four New Yorkers who are HIV-positive are not aware of their status.
The new van will contain outreach teams who will travel throughout the city to offer testing where people socialize--in front of bars, clubs, public parks, bathhouses, schools, commercial stores, and at the city's piers.
"Launching the van on Valentine's Day is a way to remind everyone that safer sex is a part of intimacy and knowing one's HIV status is the first step to healthy sexual intimacy," says GMHC interim executive director Marjorie Hill in a press statement. "Power is knowledge, and we believe that bringing testing to the consumer will help increase the healthy choices made by individuals with regard to their sexual activities and help reduce HIV infection rates."
The van was funded through a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tests provided by the van are free. (Advocate.com)