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UCSD Project To Bring HIV Testing To Homes: door-to-door HIV testing in 10,000 homes with mobile van in San Diego
  'Lead The Way' Project Includes Mobile Clinic That Will Visit Hillcrest, North Park Areas
May 10, 2011
SAN DIEGO -- A unique University of California, San Diego project will bring HIV testing to local homes.
"We will hopefully provide testing to those who have never tested before," said Dr. Susan Little of the UCSD Antiviral Research Center.
Armed with federal funding, UCSD will open an HIV testing center in Hillcrest on Wednesday as part of the first-of-its-kind research project called "Lead the Way."
In June, researchers in the mobile clinic will begin going door-to-door in the 92103 and 92104 ZIP codes, including Hillcrest and North Park. Researchers plan to offer free 10-minute finger-prick tests in hopes of raising HIV testing rates.
According to surveys, only 10 percent of adults in the U.S. have been tested in the past year. Surveys also showed about 40 percent have ever been tested.
"It gives them the option of testing in the privacy of their own home,"
said Little.
10News spoke to several residents in the testing area about UCSD's project, and privacy seemed to be an issue to many.
"It's uncomfortable because someone is taking a touchy subject like HIV and bringing it into your house and in your face," said Mission Hills resident Guyanna Bedington.
10News reporter Michael Chen asked Little, "Is this too much in your face?"
Little replied, "It may be ... it's important to find out if people will accept testing in their homes. I think that will help inform the next wave of intervention, which is to try and make people uncomfortable with HIV testing more comfortable."
Researchers hope to survey residents who object and detail all the reasons people don't get tested.
Another project goal is to find out whether making HIV tests accessible will make a difference.
The Lead the Way campaign will run through December, and UCSD is hoping to knock on more than 10,000 doors.
The Hillcrest and North Park areas were selected based on HIV awareness.
UCSD Launches "Lead The Way"
Blog By Dorian Hargrove | Posted May 10, 2011, 12:50 p.m.
On May 11, UCSD's school of medicine is launching the "Lead the Way" campaign, a new HIV-testing campaign funded by the National Institute of Health.
The goal of the program: test all adults living in the 92103 and 92104 zip codes, and find out if people are willing to take HIV tests if the tests are available.
"This is the first time an HIV campaign has targeted everyone -- both high- and low-risk individuals -- based on the presumption that if everyone is tested for HIV, those found to be HIV positive can be treated with antiretroviral medications, reducing the spread of the disease to others," says Dr. Susan Little, professor of medicine in UCSD's Division of Infectious Diseases as well as the lead researcher for the campaign.
"UCSD researchers want to show that we can reduce the spread of HIV now, even without a vaccine. HIV testing is easy, confidential, and is the simplest way to help our local community fight the spread of HIV/AIDS."
"Lead the Way" will open its first storefront near the corner of Park Boulevard and University Avenue in Hillcrest, where participants can get a free HIV test or take a brief survey.
On June 8, trained test-givers from UCSD's Antiviral Research Center will canvass Uptown neighborhoods, going door-to-door to administer the test or conduct the survey.
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