Get tested for free for HIV and STIs at home
April is National STD Awareness Month, so what better time to have one of TakeMeHome’s free test kits for HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis delivered to your home?
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a drop in testing for sexually transmitted infections (STIs, also known as sexually transmitted diseases or STDs). Not only has COVID-19 shut down many clinics, many of their health workers have also had to redirect their efforts to tackle the new pandemic. As a result, experts predict an increase in HIV and STI rates. For more information on this, see “How stopping the coronavirus could cause an increase in HIV cases”.
Even though clinics are now reopening, many people do not feel safe to return or prefer the privacy of their own home for HIV and STI testing. Thanks to TakeMeHome.org, free home tests are being offered to more people across the country.
NASTAD continues to partner with Building Healthy Online Communities and TakeMeHome on a free home HIV and STD test kit …
To promote the free home test delivery program, TakeMeHome has partnered with HIV and sexual health organizations including NASTAD, who represents leaders in HIV and hepatitis health care; Building healthier online communities (BHOC); the San Francisco AIDS Foundation; and the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.
The home test program is straightforward. Go to TakeMeHome.org and fill out a form to see if you are eligible. If you are, in one to three days you will receive a discreet package including instructions, swabs, a lancet for making a stick finger, and a sample collection card. Several private companies provide the tests. OraQuick HIV home tests, for example, are provided by OraSure Technologies. (Watch the company explainer video at the top of this article; instruction videos for throat and rectal swabs are posted at TakeMeHome.org.)
The HIV test provides results within 20 minutes. Other tests require samples to be mailed. Once samples are received, users will be emailed instructions on how to log into a portal to view their results.
A Spanish version of the TakeMeHome tests will be available in April.
TakeMeHome reports positive test results to the local health department, as do clinics and doctors.
Today we announced the launch of a free home delivery program for HIV / STD test kits, #Take me Home. By working with health services to provide them for free, TakeMeHome can get more tests done to the people who need them most.https://t.co/Z3eJPJipFU pic.twitter.com/tlmWZxpa5Q
– BHOC Partners (@BHOCPartners) March 15, 2021
Through collaboration with BHOC, test kits are promoted on dating apps such as Grindr, Adam4Adam, Grindr, Jack’d, Scruff and Manhunt. “At Grindr, we are proud to be a major partner of TakeMeHome and to promote it to our users,” said Grindr Marketing Director Alex Black in a statement. NASTAD press release on testing. “We know that encouraging our users to get tested for HIV and other STDs is a critical step in promoting the health of our community.”
“Regular testing is one of the most important tools we have to reduce the transmission of HIV and STDs,” added Stephanie Cohen, medical director of the City Clinic in San Francisco. “Collaboration between public health and dating apps to make it accessible to more people makes perfect sense.”
Similarly, POZ Personals has worked with BHOC in the past. For more, see “Queer Dating Apps Unite to Fight Online Stigma in NiceAF Campaign.”