Health & Science

City Of Houston Opens Up New HIV/STD Mobile Clinic

This week, the Houston Department of Health and Human Services unveiled its new mobile clinic that offers testing for HIV and sexually transmitted diseases. It will also offer education on disease prevention.

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city-of houston hiv mobile clinic
The new mobile clinic can take testing, education and counseling services on the road.

The new 38-foot mobile clinic is the third such vehicle to be operated by Houston’s Department of Health and Human Services.

The clinic can go directly into high-risk, or hard-to-reach neighborhoods. Those are places where there may be more than one case of a sexually transmitted disease.

“Usually when we find a few cases, there’s going to be other people that are also infected. And what happens is, we first start talking about prevention, the condom use, and then we get into more elaborate conversation on how to reduce their risk,” says Porfirio Villarreal with the Houston Department of Health and Human Services.

Program Manager Lupita Thornton says the customized mobile clinic offers confidential testing. 

“A lot of clients do not like to come in to any clinic to be screened, because maybe they’re working during the day, maybe they don’t know where to access it, or maybe they just don’t know what’s going on in the community,” says Thornton.

The vehicle is equipped with an interview room, exam room and a lab that offers rapid test results. The mobile unit is staffed by a nurse practitioner, clinic assistant, lab technician, disease intervention specialist and, of course, a driver.

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