Health and Wellness

DC residents can now get home HIV test kits for free

A home HIV test kit
A home HIV test kitPhoto: Shutterstock

D.C. residents can now sign up online for free, home HIV test kits through the District’s Department of Health

“The safe and easy OraQuick rapid HIV test kit allows a person to self-swab their mouth to get a result in 20 minutes,” the Department said in a statement.

Related: HIV medications may lower the risk of COVID & getting severe coronavirus symptoms

People can order an HIV test kit through the Get Checked D.C. website.

“While we are asking people to stay at home during the coronavirus pandemic, they can know their HIV status by taking this convenient test,” Department of Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt told the Washington Blade. “D.C. is breaking down barriers and affording equitable access to HIV testing through this initiative.”

The program is similar to one started by the London organization 56 Dean Street earlier this year, which tried to take advantage of self-isolation to “alter the course of our city’s HIV epidemic.”

“People that test positive can start medication straight away which will mean they can’t pass it on,” the organization said, explaining that self-isolation in response to coronavirus had lowered HIV transmission rates because fewer people were having sex, creating an “unprecedented opportunity” to stop the virus.

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