OAKLAND (KCBS) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is rolling out a pilot program to offer HIV tests at neighborhood pharmacies, including one in East Oakland.

Mike’s Pharmacy on International Boulevard is one of 24 drugstores and clinics from across the country chosen to participate in the pilot program. The CDC announced the decision Tuesday, on the eve of “National HIV Testing Day.”

Pharmacist Tracy Toler will swab customer’s cheeks in a private back room to test for HIV. “Oral testing for people who are scared or have doubts about going into a regular clinic and getting it,” she said. “If they just feel more comfortable at their local pharmacy and the results will be given in about 30 minutes.”

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Dr. Donna McCree with the CDC said Mike’s Pharmacy, like the other sites, was carefully chosen.

“They’re located in areas where there is a high HIV prevalence or maybe a significant unmet HIV testing need,” she said.

McCree said that if it works well, the test could eventually be available at every pharmacy, just as flu shots and blood pressure tests are now.

Each location will get enough tests to check 200 to 300 people.

The CDC estimates almost 20 percent of Americans infected with HIV don’t know they have the disease.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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