California: "Get Screened Oakland" HIV/AIDS Program Is Unique in Nation
December 8, 2008
A decade after Oakland declared a state of emergency over HIV/AIDS in the African-American community, many residents still do not get diagnosed with HIV until they already have AIDS. That might have been understandable when treatments were new, said Marsha Martin, director of Get Screened Oakland (GSO), "but not today."
Kaiser Permanente, Highland Hospital, and Alta Bates Summit Medical Center already offer HIV screening for patients in their emergency departments. Children's Hospital Oakland is considering a similar program.
Homophobia, IV drug use, homelessness, and poverty are all driving the epidemic, said Kabir Hypolite, acting director of the Office of AIDS Administration for the Alameda County Public Health Department. Only about half the estimated 12,000 people who have HIV in the county have been diagnosed, he said.
"It's the shame issue," said Belinda Dronkers-Lauretz, executive director of API Family Pride, an outreach organization that targets Asian and Pacific Islander gays and lesbians. "We need to break that barrier."
Contra Costa Times
12.02.2008; Angela Woodall
CDC Recommendations on HIV Testing Not Followed "Comprehensively," Too Few People Tested, HIV Specialist Says in Washington Post