Baltimore Churches Participate In Program Providing HIV Testing To Residents
Eleven Baltimore churches on Tuesday provided HIV testing to local residents as part of a larger effort by the JACQUES Initiative, a program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine's Institute of Human Virology, the Baltimore Sun reports. The JACQUES Initiative launched Project SHALEM in partnership with the Maryland AIDS Administration and several local faith-based and community organizations, according to the Sun. Derek Spencer, the executive director of the JACQUES Initiative, said, "The ultimate goal is to make churches, mosques and synagogues a safe place where people can receive HIV support. We are no longer going to wait for people to come into our academic centers for help." He said organizers hoped to test 1,000 people, noting that at one of the testing sites, within the first hour, four people tested positive with the rapid oral swab tests. Angela Wakhweya, deputy director of the Maryland AIDS Administration, said the goal of the project is to eliminate new HIV cases in the state (Bass, 7/22).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.