New van aims to bring free HIV testing to rural areas of Lowcountry

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A new van wants to make it easier for Charleston area residents to receive a free, confidential HIV test.

It's run by Palmetto Community Care (formerly Lowcountry AIDS services) thanks to a $50,000 grant from the Elton John AIDS foundation. It wants to reach rural and high-needs communities.

"We know it can scary to get a HIV test," Prevention Manager Adam Weaver said. "But knowing is half the battle. That's why we're taking our mobile testing van everywhere we can to make it as easy as possible for anyone in the Charleston region to get a free HIV test. Our prevention team is here to make the entire process easier and to provide valuable resources and information on sexual health and safer sex,"

Palmetto Community Care says January 2018 saw the most positive HIV tests in its history with seven. In All of 2017, 20 people tested positive for HIV at what was formerly Lowcountry Aids services.

The regularly scheduled stops for the van are listed below:

  • Last Thursday of the month from 9 p.m. to midnight at Dudley’s on Ann, 42 Ann St., Charleston
  • First and third Tuesday of the month from 1-5 p.m. at One80 Place, 35 Walnut St., Charleston

There is no charge to have the van at a business, health fair or community center. Palmetto Community Care also offers free, confidential testing for HIV, syphilis, chlamydia located at 3547 Meeting Street Road in North Charleston between 8:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and until 6 p.m. on Wednesdays.

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