County to Open AIDS Testing Center to Open in South Bay
An AIDS testing center is scheduled to open in the South Bay by the end of August in a countywide expansion of such facilities, health officials said Tuesday.
Robert M. Saltzman, special counsel to the director of the county Department of Health Services, said the county will open two other testing centers by the end of the summer, one in the San Fernando Valley and another in the east San Gabriel Valley. The addresses of the three centers have not been decided yet, he said.
Saltzman said the expansion is the result of a directive from the Board of Supervisors to increase the number of free testing centers where clients are promised anonymity. The state finances the testing program, he said.
The county now has three centers to test for acquired immune deficiency syndrome: the Edmund D. Edelman Center in Hollywood, the Ruth C. Temple Center in South-Central Los Angeles and the Edward R. Roybal Center in East Los Angeles.
Each center performs about 125 tests a week at a cost to the state of about $44 per test, Saltzman said. The South-Central and East Los Angeles facilities have no backlog, but the Hollywood center has a waiting period of about eight weeks because it is “in an area with a disproportionate number of AIDS cases,” he said.
Saltzman said that if the new centers do not ease the backlog in Hollywood, the Department of Health Services will consider adding another center there or increasing the existing center’s capacity.