LAS VEGAS (CN) - Nevada's Chief Medical Officer sued the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to stop it from using a mobile lab to provide rapid HIV testing at Las Vegas nightspots.
Dr. Tracey Green, the state's chief medical officer, says the foundation is illegally "operating a medical laboratory in the state of Nevada without a license or registration." Green is represented in Clark County Court by Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto.
State officials received complaints on May 1 that the foundation was using a mobile rapid-testing vehicle to provide HIV testing on the premises of at least two popular Las Vegas gay bars without having required state licenses.
"It was reported that individuals from the AIDS Healthcare Foundation wearing badges performed rapid HIV testing on or about April 3, 2014, in the parking lot of the Piranha Nightclub located at 4633 Paradise Rd. in Las Vegas and again on or about April 11 in the parking lot of the Share Nightclub located at 4636 Wynn Rd. in Las Vegas," the lawsuit states.
Officials with the state Health Department's Division of Public and Behavioral Health contacted the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, which "confirmed that they were performing rapid HIV testing in Las Vegas through a mobile unit without a license or registration issued by the Division of Public and Behavioral Health," according to the complaint.
Green and Masto say that officials with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation claim they do not need state-issued licenses to perform the HIV testing and will not stop the mobile rapid testing.
The lawsuit does not indicate if there is a fee for the service.
The foundation has two applications pending for testing laboratories, one in North Las Vegas and one in Las Vegas, according to the Health Department. Once the foundation obtains approval for the two sites, Masto says, it has indicated that it will not provide mobile testing from the two locations.
The state asks the court to affirm that the foundation is illegally operating its mobile HIV rapid-testing service, and order it to cease the testing, which could cause "irreparable harm."
The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, based in Los Angeles, provides HIV testing, prevention and healthcare services. Michael Weinstein established the foundation in 1987, and it now has offices in Florida, Texas, Georgia, Ohio, California and Washington, D.C.