I don’t know about you, but when I read most of the news today, I get a bit bummed at the direction that humanity seems to be taking. Whether it is schol budgets being slashed for reasons of insufficient monies or defense budgets getting increased by massive amounts because unnecessary wars need to be fought to kill not the people who decide to go into the wars or the children of those people but the people whose jobs get exported, many of whom ultimately somehow end up voting for the people that sent them to war and that would send them to war. Then I get to see a nice bit of good news and it gives me a bit of hope — no giggles — as was the case when I read about the Walgreens store as well as others that made plans to offer free HIV testing on HIV awareness day.
Much as Polio is on the way to being wiped out entirely, it is entirely feasible that HIV could be also crushed out of existence if we take the right approach. What is, after all, preventing so many people from finding out whether or not they are HIV positive? For many people, it is the fear of knowing that they have this terrifying virus. That fear is somewhat diminished now that there are increasingly more drugs that are around to keep a person alive and strong even with healthy — albeit those drugs are also quite expensive.
The other thing that prevents so many people from finding out if they are HIV positive is the cost of the test itself. A home HIV test that is analyzed by a doctor generally costs between forty five and sixty dollars, and for people who are counting every single dollar and living from check to check, they cannot think about spending an astronomic amount like that — it may not seem like a lot but to them it most certainly is.
Through a little research I have found that mercifully, there are other opportunities for people to get free or low cost HIV testing. There are community centers where people can pay on a sliding scale depending on their ability or get the testing for free. It is fantastic that Walgreens is making the testing free on this special day however it is more important that people are aware that they don’t have to pay a lot to find out if they are HIV positive.