SAN ANTONIO – The San Antonio AIDS Foundation has made it their mission to empower and encourage people to know their HIV status.
However, because of COVID-19, the non-profit had to make tough choices. As a result, HIV/STD testing was put on hold for a brief period.
“Our testing though really stopped for a few months, unfortunately,” said Cherise Rohr-Allegrini, CEO of the non-proft.
Rohr-Allegrini became CEO in July of 2020. She said because of the pandemic they were forced to reduce the number of people inside their location.
She said while staff did have some PPE, they lacked in masks and face shields.
“It took a few months to really get everything back up to speed,” she said.
SAAF was forced to pivot, and now they offer HIV and syphilis testing through curb side drive up. Rohr- Allegrini said people can call ahead and pull up to the location in the 800 block East Grayson.
She said a person can know their status within minutes through a safe and convenient way.
“Coming in for HIV testing is the best thing you can do for your health and the health of others,” said Rohr-Allegrini.
She said with proper treatment, HIV is no longer a death sentence. However, she said the stigma is still real.
Rohr-Allegrini believes COVID-19 has incited a familiar fear, but encourages others to learn about prevention and be open to conversation.
“The same we talked about HIV in terms of minimizing risk, that’s how we need to talk about COVID,” she said.
To learn more about testing click here.