October 12, 2009 — Vol. 25 No. 32
Idaho State University-Meridian HIV/AIDS education coordinator, Judy Thorne, has been awarded $126,000 in federal grant money to aid Idaho health professionals and practitioners in the detection and prevention of HIV and AIDS in Idaho.
Approximately $101,000 is renewal of an existing grant to train rural practitioners in administering a field test for the detection of HIV and AIDS. Practitioners include physicians, physician assistants, nurses, pharmacists and dentists.
The test involves swabbing the inside of the mouth to test for the presence of HIV antibodies, an indicator a person may be infected with the HIV virus or AIDS. Results are usually available within 15 to 20 minutes, said Thorne.
Since the grant’s inception in 2004, Thorne has trained more than 2,000 of Idaho’s health professionals.
The remaining $25,000 in grant money will be used to fund prevention education for at-risk populations and the agencies that serve them, development of an online training course for health professionals, and operation of a mobile HIV clinic.
“Our ultimate goal is to get people to not only ask for the HIV test, but to encourage providers to offer the rapid test,” said Thorne. “Ideally, it’s more cost-effective to treat an early diagnosis of HIV or AIDS than an advanced stage of AIDS.”
Thorne points out there is still no vaccine or cure for HIV and AIDS so early intervention is key. She notes health officials have identified 1,165 cases of HIV and AIDS in Idaho since the mid 1980s, and the number of cases continues to rise each year.
Thorne’s grant is funded by the Human Resources Services Administration and administered to ISU through the Northwest AIDS Education and Training Center at the University of Washington.
For more information, contact Judy Thorne at (208) 373-1710.