Gina Popovic, Executive Vice President
Published: 11.09.10| Updated: 11.09.10
SPOKANE, WA – Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho (PPGWNI) is pleased to announce the addition of rapid HIV testing to its list of services in the Spokane-area health clinics. Planned Parenthood believes that routine testing could lead to an earlier diagnosis and earlier treatment. Unlike previous tests, results of rapid HIV tests are usually available at the time of the visit and only require a finger poke in lieu of a blood draw.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that HIV tests become a routine part of medical care for people ages 13 to 64 and requirements for written consent and pretest counseling be dropped. The CDC estimates that about 25% of HIV-positive people in the U.S. do not know their status. Results of the rapid HIV tests are available within ten minutes, which is an improvement over earlier tests where results could take days.
“This is a needed service that we are pleased to provide to our patients in our Spokane-area clinics,” said Anna Franks, President & CEO of PPGWNI. “With 12,826 Washingtonians living with AIDS, it is important for everyone to know their HIV status.” HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, infects 56,300 Americans annually, with higher rates of infection in gay and bisexual men. Black/African American men and women are also strongly affected and are estimated to have an incidence rate that is 7 times as high as the incidence rate among whites.
“Early HIV testing is a critical component to HIV prevention and HIV treatment success. We are thrilled that Planned Parenthood has added rapid testing to their list of quality services and we hope that many will take advantage of this opportunity to know their status,” said Katie Coker, Executive Director of the Spokane Aids Network (SAN). SAN is a community based, non-profit agency dedicated to minimizing the impact of, and maximizing awareness about, AIDS and other consequences of HIV infection on communities and individuals in the Inland Northwest.
Testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections is available at all Planned Parenthood health centers. HIV testing, like all of PPGWNI’s services, is confidential.
To make an appointment, call 1-866-904-7721.
PPGWNI is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization with health centers located in Ellensburg, Kennewick, Pasco, Pullman, Spokane (2 locations), Spokane Valley, Sunnyside, Walla Walla, and Yakima as well as an express health centers in Wapato. PPGWNI exists to provide exceptional reproductive and complementary health care services, honest education, and fearless advocacy for all. Call 1-866-904-7721 or visit www.ppgwni.org for more information.