Iowans who believe they may have contracted the virus that causes AIDS can now find out if they’re infected within minutes. The AIDS Project of Central Iowa and the Siouxland Community Health Center have started offering "rapid" HIV testing.
Rhea Van Brocklin, the prevention services coordinator at the AIDS Project of Central Iowa, says people are more likely take the test if they get the results the day they’re tested. "If they can come in…and get their results in 20 minutes, they’re not going to turn that down," she says. Traditional testing methods don’t reveal results for two weeks.
"With HIV, the sooner that you find out what your result is, the sooner you can prevent spreading the infection," she says. Van Brocklin says the AIDS crisis has not disappeared as there are still about 40-thousand Americans discover they have the virus that causes AIDS. In 2005, Iowa saw a 20 percent spike in the number of HIV infections.