New Mobile Health Bus Increases Access to Health Care Services

New Mobile Health Unit in a parking lot near you!

The Virginia Department of Health New River Health District’s new mobile health bus is already being deployed across the New River Valley to reduce barriers of time, transportation, and/or money and increase access to free and confidential STI testing and immunizations.

STIs test Results are available within two weeks and are communicated to the client whether positive or negative. All of the infections can be treated, and some can be cured. They offer either treatment or referrals for all infections that are being tested. Clients are provided with education and counseling. Their events are held each month on the same day and same time to have a consistent presence at a location so potential clients know when they will be available. They provide testing either in a private room of a building or on their new mobile unit, which is a bus that has been remodeled to function as a mobile clinic.

According to CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) data, sexually transmitted infections are at epidemic levels. STIs cause serious harm to health and are costly to both individuals and society, to the tune of $16 billion annually in the U.S. We have to test and treat to reverse these trends. Too many are under the wrong impression that they don’t have infections if they don’t have symptoms; most people with sexually transmitted infections do not have symptoms. For more information on their free STI testing services, including a schedule, check out our webpage at: http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/new-river/sti-hiv-testing/

The mobile health bus also began visiting area public schools this past April to offer vaccines for TDaP (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, or whooping cough), HPV (human papillomavirus) and MCV (meningococcal disease, or meningitis). The mobile unit will continue to ramp up its services, including its immunization offerings and family planning over the coming year.

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