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Free At-Home HIV Testing Kits
FALLS CHURCH, Va., May 10, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Insignia Federal Group, LLC, along with partners Building Healthy Online Communities (BHOC), Emory University, Keymind (a Division of Axiom Resource Management), and OraSure Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSUR), was selected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to distribute 100,000 HIV self-test kits -- mailed in discreet packaging, at no charge, to individuals who request them.
The program will send out OraQuick® In-Home HIV Tests, which allow an individual to detect antibodies to both HIV-1 and HIV-2 with an oral swab, and provides a result in 20 minutes, at home. The tests are the only oral fluid rapid over-the-counter HIV test approved in the U.S. If the test shows a positive result, users will be directed to go to a health care provider for follow-up testing.
“We’re excited to make these kits available for free to anyone in the United States who’s eligible to receive them, particularly in those communities disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS, and to assist the CDC’s efforts to end the HIV epidemic,” said Karen Lee, President of Insignia. “During these times of the COVID pandemic, it is even more important to provide at-home alternatives for testing.”
An estimated 1.2 million people in the United States have HIV, including about 161,800 who are unaware of their status. Nearly 40% of new HIV infections are transmitted by people who don’t know they have HIV. Important barriers to HIV testing include underestimation of risk, stress in waiting for test results, and difficulty finding time to test. Expanding on BHOC’s TakeMeHome program, which currently offers HIV test kits through participating health jurisdictions, this project as part of CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together campaign will offer national distribution starting in 2021 and will run for approximately one year until all 100,000 kits are delivered. Individuals can request a kit by visiting https://bit.ly/2QL4pv3.
This large-scale and targeted distribution of self-test kits will assist CDC in its efforts to increase HIV testing among gay and bisexual men, transgender women, and racial and ethnic minorities and contribute to the Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S. (EHE) initiative. In addition to improving and maintaining the health of people with HIV, HIV testing is the bridge to treatment and prevention.
“The first step towards ending the HIV epidemic is to know your HIV status. We are honored to work with this exceptional group of partner organizations and CDC to make our OraQuick® In-Home HIV Tests more accessible to the people who need them,” said Stephen S. Tang, President and Chief Executive Officer of OraSure Technologies. “We stand ready to help people in the community know their HIV status and link them to appropriate care.”
Insignia Federal Group is a woman owned small business (WOSB) providing professional consulting and information technology services to public sector clients. Services include program and performance management, software and digital services, data science and data visualization, user experience and accessibility of systems, and training solutions. www.insigniafederal.com
Building Healthy Online Communities (BHOC), co-founded and directed by Jen Hecht, is a consortium of public health leaders and gay dating website and app owners who are working together to support HIV and sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention online. BHOC collaborates with app owners to promote testing, provide accurate information, reduce stigma, and implement the most effective interventions to reduce the impact of HIV and STIs. BHOC launched TakeMeHome in March 2020. BHOC is currently housed at San Francisco AIDS Foundation. www.bhocpartners.org
Emory’s team is led by Dr. Patrick Sullivan, an infectious disease epidemiologist at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health. Dr. Sullivan served for 14 years in CDC’s Division of AIDS Prevention (DHAP) and was the Principal Investigator for CDC’s eSTAMP study, which established the benefits of distribution of HIV self-tests, as well as CDC’s iSTAMP study, a large implementation study of the distribution of HIV self-test kits. https://sph.emory.edu/index.html
Keymind, Division of Axiom Resource Management, Inc. Keymind is a digital services consulting firm with a unique combination of technical and creative services. Keymind has proven and repeatable software development processes -- assessed at Level 3 of Carnegie Mellon University's CMMI Institute’s Software Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI-DEV) version 1.3. Keymind’s Agile methodology provides increased speed to market, with high quality, and reduced cost and risk. http://www.keymind.com
OraSure Technologies, Inc.
OraSure Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSUR) empowers the global community to improve health and wellness by providing access to accurate, essential information. Together with its wholly owned subsidiaries, DNA Genotek, Diversigen and Novosanis, OraSure provides its customers with end-to-end solutions that encompass tools, services and diagnostics. The OraSure family of companies is a leader in the development, manufacture, and distribution of rapid diagnostic tests, sample collection and stabilization devices, and molecular services solutions designed to discover and detect critical medical conditions. For more information on OraSure Technologies, please visit www.orasure.com.