Oklahoma State Department Of Health Launches HIV Self-Test Program

State health leaders say Oklahoma is one of seven states in the country with the highest rural rates of HIV.

The State Health Department is trying to change that by launching a new self-test program.

Officials from the OSDH say over the last five years, 21% of newly diagnosed HIV cases in Oklahoma were people identified as “late testers.”

Leaders say the self-test program is free to all Oklahomans.

The tests will come in discreet packaging that will contain resources and information about HIV and how to prevent the spread.

Health experts say these at-home tests provide a unique opportunity for people to get results quicker and start treatments faster.

“Making it possible for them to get the treatment they need because you can continue even with an HIV diagnosis, the drug therapies that are available today allow people to live happy, healthy, long lives,” said William Andrews with the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

Andrews added that the tests allow people who might be worried about testing in public to feel more comfortable.

“The great thing about the HIV self-test program we launched is that people can do it in the comfort and privacy of their own home. So that doesn’t require going to the doctor’s office, going to the county health department,” said Andrews.

People who want to order a rapid test online are encouraged to go to EndingHIVOklahoma.org for more information.

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By Betty C. Giordano

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