HIV testing down at Louisiana clinic during pandemic
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A health care worker and an academic in Louisiana are warning that testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections is being neglected during the coronavirus pandemic.
Joseph Olsen, an HIV testing manager at a clinic in New Orleans, told a news outlet on Wednesday that the clinic has done 2,000 HIV tests since the pandemic began. Before the virus outbreak, he said the clinic usually did up to 12,000 tests in a year.
“Coronavirus parallels HIV. They do not care who you are, they just do what viruses do and spread,” Olsen said.
Some HIV testing sites have closed as clinics shifted to telemedicine during the pandemic, said Meredith Clement, a professor at Louisiana State University’s Health Sciences Center.
Olsen said his clinic, Crescent Care, has increased at-home testing kits and is offering walk-up testing.
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