In-Home HIV Test and an HIV Free Generation
Today’s theme at the IAC2014 is “Stepping up the Pace.” This theme seems to me like the perfect call to action that we all should heed to. The new biomedical interventions like PrEP and treatment as prevention have been making headlines all over the world. There is no denying that the science community has been active doing their share of the bargain. What about us, the general community?
In my opinion, this is the first time in HIV history that we as individuals have a tool to take control of our HIV testing paradigm. Yes, so far we have had free testing, testing at our closest neighborhood bar, testing at the hospital, testing at community centers and even home testing, but in all of these examples there has always been a third party involved; someone that had to test us, someone that had to read the results for us, someone that we had to mail our sample to.
Now we have something else and here is where the “stepping up the pace” part comes in. The OraQuick In-Home HIV test provides us with the chance to manage and administer our own HIV testing practices. It seems that the test is a strategy that is acceptable for a good chunk of the community and furthermore it seems that people are aware of the potential benefits.
What do we need to start doing then? Using it! Stepping up and buying it or mobilizing our resources to make it more affordable if pricing is an issue. Creating more buzz between our friends about it and having conversations around the importance of getting tested regularly or as our risk behaviors merit it. We like to do the deed so let’s also do the test!
Note from the author: The HEARD Institute is proud to announce the publication of our community readiness assessment white paper titled “Assessing Community Readiness for Structural Interventions to Prevent the Spread of HIV: The Case of the HIV Home Test”