New York City Health Department To Provide Voluntary Rapid HIV Test to City Jail Inmates
The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene next month will begin offering rapid HIV tests, which provide results that are 99.6% accurate within 20 minutes, to city jail inmates who request the test, officials announced on Thursday, the New York Times reports. The delay posed by traditional HIV tests, which provide results days or sometimes weeks after testing, have been a "critical hindrance" in the city's efforts to identify HIV-positive inmates because most inmates leave the jails within seven days of their arrival, health officials said, according to the Times. Between 10% to 20% of the nearly 14,000 inmates in the city jail system are HIV-positive, and 8% of inmates are unaware they are HIV-positive, Bob Berding, deputy executive director of the city health department's correctional health unit, said. The CDC gave the city 10,000 test kits, which cost $8 to $10 each. The supply is expected to last about six months, at which time the city will buy additional tests, James Capoziello, deputy commissioner of the city health department, said (von Zielbauer, New York Times, 12/12).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.