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Hawaii governor
vows to push for faster HIV tests

Hawaii governor
vows to push for faster HIV tests

In her first appearance since winning reelection, Hawaii governor Linda Lingle said she would push for establishing rapid, on-the-spot HIV testing, reports the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

"The work to ensure rapid HIV testing moves forward is something I have only recently become aware of," Lingle said Tuesday at a Life Foundation open house. "You have my commitment to make sure this occurs. Now that I am aware, I will pay closer attention and put in a call to the attorney general about this issue."

The chief of the STD/AIDS prevention branch of the state's health department, Peter Whiticar, told the Star-Bulletin in June that the department advocated the quick arrival of the rapid test for HIV prevention. Adoption of the testing has been delayed because of the administrative process and laboratory clearances, he said.

The current testing procedure involves blood collection and analysis by a lab, with turnaround for results being two weeks, the newspaper reported.

The OraQuick test, which uses a swab to collect oral fluids, is what HIV/AIDS prevention advocates are pushing for. Life Foundation says that many people do not return weeks after the initial test to receive the results, creating a need for a fast turnaround in order to counsel test takers immediately. (The Advocate)

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