June 22, 2015
A local nonprofit thrift store will become the first retailer in Philadelphia to open its own, in-store HIV testing center, Philadelphia Business Journal reports.
In honor of National HIV Testing Day on Saturday, Philly AIDS Thrift will open the 300-square-foot Philly AIDS Thrift HIV Testing Center on the second floor of the retail store at 710 S. 5th St.
“Putting a testing site in an area that doesn’t typically have something like that is a way of normalizing testing,” Christina Kallas-Saritsoglou, co-founder and co-manager of Philly AIDS Thrift, told Philadelphia Business Journal.
“It’s a way to break stigmas. I’m happy that all of the other testing sites exist, but someone … might have fears walking into a clinical environment. Philadelphia is in need of keeping on top of HIV testing. We're in the right location to be able to do that. ... We have access to all walks of life.”
There are about 30,000 people living with HIV in the Greater Philadelphia region, according to AIDS Fund, and residents are infected at a rate five times the national average and 50 percent higher than New York City residents.
In partnership with ActionAIDS, Bebashi, GALAEI, Mazzoni Center and Philadelphia FIGHT, the center will provide free, walk-in, rapid testing and other similar counseling services.
The center will be open on the first and third Saturday and Sunday, and the second and fourth Friday and Saturday every month, from 12 to 4 p.m. Any additional hours will be announced at a later date.
Read more from Philadelphia Business Journal.