For the first time ever, an at-home HIV testing kit program finally launches! Learn more about the movement and how it aims to help.
According to Yahoo News, it was announced that the HRC or Human Rights Campaign has just partnered with the Us Helping Us, which is a group of volunteers that are providing holistic health information for people who live with HIV, so as to supply the first-ever national at-home HIV testing program!
HRC Pledges HIV Testing Kits
For the first time ever, HRC now pledges to ship a minimum of 5,000 free at-home HIV testing kits to those that need them the most. These include people who live far from testing centers, those without health insurance, and those unable to travel for different reasons. These also include communities that are disproportionately impacted by HIV like lower-income people, bisexual and transgender women of color, and more.
The kits will reportedly be dispersed over the course of a full year. Aside from just these kits, which include the OraQuick oral swab which costs around $40, the package will include lubricants, condoms, and a test information card. Requesters will also receive a referral directly to PrEP providers in the area and to an online service page.
According to the CDC, there were a total of 36,801 new HIV diagnoses in the US back in 2019. Out of the number, 15,305 or about 42% of them were Black and 10,494 or 29% of them were Latino. If the rate continues, 1 in 2 Black gay and bisexual cisgender men, as well as 1 in 4 Latinx gay and bisexual men, might actually contract HIV in their lifetime.
It was noted that nearly 1.2 million people are now living with HIV in the United States and about 1 in 4 of them are women, according to amfAR which is a foundation for AIDS research. It was noted that about 1 in 7 people are actually unaware that they are in fact HIV positive.
Alecia Tramel, the Florida state lead at the Positive Women's Network, a certain nationwide community of women living with HIV aiming to empower as well as educate each other gave a statement to Yahoo Life. The statement noted that being a cisgendered Black woman that has HIV, being a community health educator, and a big sister that cares about the tribe, Tramel was excited to participate. Injections, as of the moment, are found to be more effective compared to pills when it comes to the treatment of HIV.
Tramel noted that more women are now expected to receive the kits and will be able to know their status. It was noted that getting tested and knowing their status is half the battle. Even with HIV education continuously expanding, a disappointing 13% of those that live with HIV in the US don't even know they are positive, according to HIV.gov.
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Written by Urian B.