Proof of HIV Test Could Spur Greater Sexual Responsibility
July 2, 2008
Last Friday, on National HIV Testing Day, the Los Angeles-based Black AIDS Institute launched a campaign to encourage 1 million black people to be tested for HIV by Dec. 1, 2009, World AIDS Day. As part of the "Test 1 Million" campaign, BAI has created a card that will identify the bearer as someone who has taken an HIV test in the preceding six months. After testing, participants can visit BAI's Web site and sign a consent form that allows the testing facility to release their information to a confidential database.
"The card will say this person was tested on this date and of this date this was their HIV/AIDS status," said Phill Wilson, BAI's founder and executive director. "It is completely confidential. Each individual will have a PIN number. This is a way to help people manage their sexual health information."
Wilson noted, however, "We would like people to use it as an incentive to protect themselves as opposed to verification that someone is negative." "We won't have information about the person's behavior since the testing date," he said, and "there is also a message that will say you should always protect yourself."
The card will expire unless the bearer is tested every six months. "Someone having an HIV-negative [result] doesn't mean they are still negative," Wilson reminded. "We don't want the card used as proof."
BAI is also working on a system to allow members to enter their STD history and receive HIV/AIDS informational updates via cell phone or e-mail.
For more information, visit www.blackaids.org.
7.01.2008; Mary Mitchell
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.