New van improving health services in Missoula County

Posted at 9:39 AM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-28 11:39:36-04

MISSOULA – Local health officials are utilizing new resources to help Missoula County residents.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named Thursday National HIV Testing Day and the Missoula City-County Health Department was offering free testing.

The one-minute tests were being performed in the new health department van which was parked on Higgins Street.

Health officials tell MTN News that thanks to the new van, they can bring testing to individuals.

But Justin Philalack with Montana’s Gay Men’s Task Force says they are still battling the harsh stigma that accompanies this type of testing.

“It is not a death sentence. people that are HIV positive can live long healthy lives,” Philalack said. “So, our entire job is for you to know your status and our biggest hurdle is fighting that stigma.”

The new van will also be utilized for vaccinations and endeavors in addition to HIV testing in the future.