AIDS testing van goes unused on campus

Last week there was a large van parked on Bellflower road in front of the Mandel Center for Community Studies. Students could read “” on the side of the vehicle as they walked by. Only rarely did anyone stop walking to investigate further.

Effectively a mobile clinic, this van—and vehicles like it all over the country—is a part of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation’s Mobile Testing Program. The organization’s vans are available for any clinic or AIDS/HIV focused non-profit, but this particular van was being used and staffed by the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland.

As the oldest AIDS service provider in Ohio, the AIDS Taskforce is a clinic, an emergency room, a hospital, a psychology office, a charity and a non-profit all rolled into one.

The organization provides free, anonymous and confidential testing at their headquarters on Euclid Avenue. It also does counseling and general health care, organizes support groups and also assists with housing, transportation and food. AIDS Taskforce serves over 15,000 people each year and handles more than 1,200 intensive case management clients.

Keith Williams, the mobile health specialist running the Mobile Testing Center at Case Western Reserve University, wasn’t getting a lot of traction on Bellflower Road, but the program doesn’t stop there.

The vans go all over the city, and since he wasn’t getting a lot of students to take advantage of this free service, he relocated the next day.