Washington, D.C., HIV/AIDS Administration Director Discusses Testing Campaign for All Residents on PBS’ ‘NewsHour with Jim Lehrer’
PBS' "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" on Wednesday included an interview with Marsha Martin, director of Washington, D.C.'s Administration for HIV Policy and Programs, about the city's HIV testing campaign (Brown, "NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," PBS, 8/2). District of Columbia health officials and HIV/AIDS advocates in June launched a citywide campaign titled, "Come Together D.C., Get Screened for HIV," which emphasizes the importance of HIV testing. The campaign aims to reach 400,000 men and women ages 14 to 84 in the district. According to statistics presented at the Mayor's Task Force on HIV/AIDS, which convened for the first time in June, up to 25,000 people, or more than 4% of all residents, in the district might be HIV-positive. District health officials have ordered 80,000 rapid HIV tests for the campaign, which organizers plan to distribute at no cost to hospital emergency departments, private physician offices, community health programs, detoxification centers and substance use and sexually transmitted infection treatment clinics (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 6/28). Martin said that the World Health Organization and CDC are monitoring the district's testing campaign and are "very excited" about the initiative as a method of implementing HIV screening in communities. However, the initiative might be difficult to replicate in other areas, Martin said. According to Martin, "there are concerns that we in the nation's capital have the greatest rates of AIDS cases in the country." However, the district's specific circumstances are "unique" because there is a Mayor's Task Force on HIV/AIDS seeking to reduce those rates; hospitals are willing to implement CDC testing guidelines; and community providers are interested in expanding testing capacities, according to Martin ("NewsHour with Jim Lehrer," PBS, 8/2).
The complete transcript of the segment is available online. The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.