A local non-profit is determined to drive out HIV from the Green Mountain State.
Vermont Cares is hitting the road to offer mobile HIV testing.
For the last two years, Vermont Cares has embarked on a campaign called On the Road to Zero.
“Which is an effort to lead Vermont to be the first state in the nation with no new HIV infections by the year 2020,” says Vermont Cares Executive Director, Peter Jacobsen.
Now the Nonprofit is quite literally on the road to preventing HIV.
Jacobsen says the van has been in the plans for 7 years. But thanks to a $50,000 dollar grant he and his team will be able to wheel out HIV testing and prevention services to your hometown.
“We are going to set up schedules in all these towns to give a block set aside of time. We’re looking at maybe two or three hours in each town,” says Jacobsen.
The goal is to bring testing sites to remote parts of the state especially where transportation can be an issue.
“Reaching people in Newport, St. Albans, Island Pond, Barre, even some of the mid-size cities and towns in Vermont has been tougher for us and other aids organizations over the years.
Jacobsen says the van is not just fit for HIV testing, but also fit to for a needle exchange.
“If you’re looking to exchange used syringes for sterile ones, we have a selection of different sized syringes here.”
With a spot to dispose of used syringes in the Van as well.
Vermont Cares says there about 670 Vermonters known to be living with the virus.
The plan now to educate and bring services to people in all corners of the state especially now that it’s more mobile.
“It’s going to be safe, effective, easy, and just look for this big red van and you’ll know you have HIV prevention right in your town,” says Jacobsen.