New HIV testing making history in the Valley

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POSTED: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - 4:04pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 16, 2013 - 9:11am

In recognition of National Latino AIDS Awareness Day, the Valley AIDS Council is making history in HIV testing.

The VAC is the first HIV testing program in South Texas to use a new testing methods that gives results in just one minute.  The typical test used to check for signs of HIV involves an oral swab that takes 20 minutes for results.

This new test, which takes a sample of blood that is then mixed with a few solutions, was used in third world countries for mass testing but is now available for Valley residents for quick and accurate HIV testing.

According to data on AIDS from 2009, Latinos account for almost 20% of people living with HIV in the U.S.

"Here in the Valley, one of the things that's worried us is for the past ten years consistently we've had about 150 new clients every year," explains Oscar Lopez, Director of Education for VAC.  "This year in 2013, we're gonna pass over 300, so all of a sudden we've doubled our numbers and we're down to one new positive a day, so something's happening."

These new HIV tests are available in McAllen, Harlingen and Brownsville.

For more information on the Valley AIDS Council and HIV testing, visit valleyaids.com or call 1-800-333-SIDA.

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