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Sacramento Mobile Health Care Van Offers Teenagers Free STD Tests, Information

November 24, 2004

The Sacramento County Department of Health and Human Services sponsors a mobile health care van -- known as Care-A-Van -- that offers teenagers at some schools and people at area homeless shelters testing for and information about sexually transmitted diseases at no cost, the Sacramento Bee reports. The program offers urine tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea, blood tests for syphilis and oral tests for HIV. The van currently works with several continuation schools and one traditional school, but program manager Rosalinda Vizina said she wants to expand the program and offer the services at more county schools. However, some parents are uncomfortable with their children discussing STDs and are the "primary barrier" to the program gaining access to some schools, according to the Bee. Care-A-Van became involved with schools in the area in the mid-1990s to fight the county's high rate of chlamydia, which has exceeded the state average for five years and disproportionately affects young women between the ages of 15 and 24, according to county statistics (Baird, Sacramento Bee, 11/22).

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