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UT expands HIV testing service to Main Campus

The University of Toledo’s Ryan White Program will mark its 25th year of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing by expanding services to its Main Campus.

As of Monday, Feb. 15, community HIV testing will be offered one day each month on both campuses: the first Monday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Ruppert Health Center, Health Science Campus, and the third Monday from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Student Medical Center, Main Campus.

All testing services are free and confidential. No appointments are necessary.

“The expansion to Main Campus is a modification of our services,” said Ann Wayson Locher, RN, Ryan White Program coordinator. “For 25 years, we offered weekly testing on the Health Science Campus. As fundamental as this service has been, we felt the community’s need for an additional testing site is vital to our goal of providing early detection to as many people as we can.”

UT’s program was the first in northwest Ohio to offer free HIV testing at a time when public education was scarce.

“When we first began testing for HIV, we didn’t know nearly as much as we do now,” Locher said. “With early diagnosis and proper treatment, the majority of people who have HIV can manage it much in the way other chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, are managed. It isn’t the death sentence it was in the early 1980s.”

Early diagnosis is key. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 20 percent of the 1.1 million people who have HIV in the United States is unaware of infection. New infection is most common in people ages 13 to 29, followed closely by those ages 30 to 39 and 40 to 49.

Testing is performed using an oral swab, with results available in approximately 30 minutes. On-site counselors provide education regarding treatment options, community services and financial support.

UT’s Ryan White Program is partially funded through a federal grant named after an Indiana teenager who died of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), the disease caused by HIV. The program’s goal, according to Locher, has been to provide optimum care for HIV-infected individuals, regardless of financial status.

For more information about UT’s Ryan White Program, email [email protected] or call 419.383.3741.

Copyright © 2010 by [LaPrensa Newspaper]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 09/20/11 20:01:51 -0700.





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