Us Helping Us purchases a mobile unit
Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc. (UHU) purchased a cargo van and customized it into a mobile unit for HIV testing and STD screenings. The cargo van, a 2012 Sprinter 3500, was customized to have two separate compartments. UHU will use the mobile unit to provide HIV testing in remote areas of the Washington, DC, and suburban Maryland.
“It has taken Us Helping Us two years to raise the initial money necessary to purchase and customize the van,” says Ron Simmons, the President/CEO of Us Helping Us. “We are grateful to all of our supporters who gave donations to make this day possible.”
Us Helping Us had a smaller mobile unit several years ago. It was totaled on the Suitland Parkway during an ice storm. The loss of the mobile unit curtailed UHU’s ability to outreach and test at bars, clubs, community venues, and anonymous public sex areas.
“There is still a lot of stigma surrounding HIV testing. Many people will not come to an AIDS agency for services,” says Ernest Walker, the Director of Programs. “Having a mobile unit will allow us to go where they are.”
The new unit is acquired through a lease-purchase agreement and is not completely paid for. Donations are still needed and can be sent to UHU by mail or through its website: www.uhupil.org.