Responding to increasing demands, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today voted to open two more alternative test sites for AIDS by the end of April.
The board's unanimous vote followed recent criticism that the county was not moving fast enough to accommodate those people concerned that they may be infected by the AIDS virus. Advocates for AIDS victims have complained that the waiting period for tests at the existing sites is now between seven and nine weeks.
Health Director Robert Gates said the two new sites would augment three existing locations--two in Long Beach and the Gay and Lesbian Community Services Center in Hollywood.
By April 30, the two new sites--at the Edward R. Roybal Comprehensive Health Center in East Los Angeles and the Ruth Temple Health Center in South Central Los Angeles--should be able to accommodate about 50 people each day, Gates said. He added that his department is exploring the possibility of opening two other sites by the end of the year in the San Gabriel and the San Fernando valleys.
Today's action followed testimony by Dr. Lorin Spencer of the Los Angeles County Medical Assn., who said the additional testing centers are needed because there is a concern that people in the AIDS high-risk groups will begin flocking to blood banks knowing their blood will be tested faster. Spencer added, however, that such a problem has not yet materialized.