Imagine a world where an innocent child is given HIV due to mother to child transmission. Imagine a world where a father cannot play football on an autumn’s afternoon with his son because he constantly feels a lack of energy. Imagine a world where for months straight one has a reoccurring yeast infection. And lastly, imagine a world where one cannot remember one’s very own mother’s name due to short term memory loss. Unfortunately, there is no need to imagine for all of the above are actual possibilities when living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
In the Washington Times, Mike Stobbe discusses a study that was conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention involving a survey performed in high-poverty neighborhoods
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People I encounter on an everyday basis are not knowledgeable of their HIV or STD status due to lack of financial means to get tested. For example, a co-worker of mine is currently 25 years old and has been sexually active since age 16. When asked if she had ever been tested for STDs, she stated “No, getting test when you’re uninsured can be so expensive. I’ve never had $300 to spare on something like that.” This is a frightening image; to know that people who I, my brother or even my best friend may eventually become sexually active with are unaware of their HIV status because they cannot afford to get tested. Not only does this pose a threat to their well-being, but also to mine and those close to me. For this reason I am very interested in decreasing one’s risk of contracting STDs/HIV due to one’s socioeconomic status, and therefore creating this proposal to reduce the risk of HIV contraction
Currently there are a plethora of organizations that provide reduced or free STD/HIV testing. The Texas Department of State Health Services is the largest. According to their website, testing is conducted at a cost of $20.00 or free for those who have Medicaid or Medicare (Texas). Although the cost is relatively low for the amount of testing being done, the locations providing this reduced cost of testing are scarce.