The United Nations recently reported that Chile is now among the ten world nations with a growing population of HIV-infected people.
Over 31,000 people in Chile have HIV or AIDS and don’t know it, according to the health minister.
On Friday, public health care workers began conducting HIV tests via a mobile medical car at the Santiago Central Market in the capitol’s downtown. They carried out about 100 tests, the results for which were available in about 15 minutes.
The tests are voluntary but target those between 19 and 25 years of age.
The Undersecretary of Health Luis Castillo said the medical vans for HIV testing will be concentrated at music festivals, universities and other events in the coming summer months.
A study published last April by the HIV Center at the University of Chile’s Clinical Hospital found that the number of HIV and AIDS diagnoses increased from 2,968 in 2010, to 5,817 in 2017, nearly 50 percent.
A UNAIDS report found Chile had Latin America’s highest percentage of new HIV infections since 2010. Typically, HIV testing in the religiously conservative country requires multiple doctors appointments with invasive questions, and test results can take up to four weeks.
President Sebastian Piñera previously said that responsibility to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS lies mainly with parents but that the government “would contribute” to the solution.