No insurance or copay required; testing encouraged regularly for all adults 18-64
NEW ORLEANS, LA (May 6, 2021) — Access Health Louisiana (AHL) is pleased to announce its home-based testing program, GetCheckedAHL, which provides free HIV testing and counseling services to residents across southeast Louisiana. Participants will receive a home-based kit and be scheduled for a real-time virtual testing appointment with a trained healthcare professional. During this appointment, the testing navigator will walk individuals through the steps of testing, offer counseling and support, as well as talking through the results and advise on any next steps.
GetCheckedAHL uses the OraQuick rapid HIV test — the first FDA-approved oral swab in-home test for HIV-1 and HIV-2. An oral swab test does not require blood and produces results within 20 minutes. When used as directed, the OraQuick oral fluid test can detect 91.7 percent of people who are infected with HIV and 99.9 percent of people who are not infected with HIV.
The testing kit — which will arrive packaged in plain materials and discreetly labeled — also includes informational resources on sexual health and other AHL services.
“Regular HIV testing is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for all adults” said Access Health Louisiana Medical Director of Infectious Diseases and Chief Innovation Officer Dr. MarkAlain Déry, DO, MPH, FACOI. “If you are in between the ages of 18 and 64 and haven’t been tested for HIV in the past year, you should consider requesting one of our free testing kits. Our testing navigators offer individuals counseling and support during the virtual appointment, and should you test positive, will link you to care with an expert HIV specialist on the same day.”
Patients can request an at-home test three ways — filling out an online request form, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with their name and phone number or by calling AHL at the Pythian clinic at (504) 226-2976. Once individuals have requested the home-based test kit, an AHL testing navigator reaches out to get them registered as a patient and schedules the virtual testing appointment. Insurance is not required and there is no copay required for this service.
AHL also has all the tools to help those who do test negative, remain negative. Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) is a safe, daily pill that, if taken as directed, significantly reduces the chances of people getting HIV. Taking PrEP and getting regularly tested for sexually transmitted infections can help reduce the risks of acquiring HIV infection. Individuals interested in getting on PrEP, should contact AHL to get connected to an expert HIV/STI specialist who can prescribe PrEP and provide other sexual health resources.
To learn more about GetCheckedAHL, please visit https://accesshealthla.org/service/free-hiv-home-testing/. For more information about Access Health Louisiana and the additional services available including STI testing, telemedicine and teletherapy, please visit https://accesshealthla.org/services/.