HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - Thrive Alabama is a non-profit organization that provides medical care and support services to those with HIV and AIDS in north Alabama. They serve about 3,000 people annually, but with a new initiative in the works they hope to help even more.
"HIV is still a big issue in the south, and a lot of people don't realize that. In the south we also have the highest rate of new infections," said Thrive Alabama Development Director Mark Moore.
Thrive Alabama is taking steps to fight those statistics with a bus that will test for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
"Our new initiative is to have a mobile testing unit that will go out into the community, and that will be the 12 counties of north Alabama," said Moore.
In 2016 the organization launched a two-year fundraising campaign that will be based on donations and grants.
"We hope to purchase the bus later this year, and have the official launch in summer of 2018," said Moore.
The bus will have exam rooms, private consultation areas, and a medical lab.
"It's going to allow us to test more people, more frequently, get testing to be top of mind, so that they can address these issues directly," said Moore.
With the mobile testing unit Thrive Alabama will be able to offer their services at homeless camps, college campuses, in rural areas, and to people who might otherwise have transportation barriers.
If you would like to make a donation to the mobile testing unit, visit Thrivealabama.kindful.com. Thrive Alabama hopes to raise $350,000.