News | Announcement, Community
Know Your Status: HIV Home Testing Kits Available from Ryan Health
There’s nothing more important than knowing your health status. It drives every decision you make. That’s why Ryan Health makes it easy for you to know your HIV status by providing HIV home test kits.
“It’s a simple test, and we’re offering it because we want to provide resources for our patients who may have a fear of traveling right now,” says Kalyaní Sánchez, PrEP Network Coordinator at Ryan Health. “We want to protect them and the people they live with.”
And while quarantine and social distancing for COVID-19 are good reasons to stay in the house right now, Ryan Health offers HIV home test kits anytime. The home test kit fee is always waived, and if you need any more reasons: National HIV Testing Day is just around the corner, on June 27th.
The test is easy: just a simple oral swab rubbed on the top and bottom of your gums to pick up antibodies. You’ll be given the result, whether positive, negative, or inconclusive, within about 20 minutes. If you receive a positive result, we’ll want you to come in for a blood test to confirm the result. Ryan Health counselors are available to walk you through the process and provide options based on your results.
If you are on PrEP, you must be tested for HIV every three months, so the home test kit is convenient. PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) is a daily pill for those at high risk of exposure to HIV.
By contrast, PEP (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis) is for those who think they might have been exposed to HIV. The sooner you start PEP after exposure, the better.
If your HIV test is positive, you should start anti-retroviral therapy as soon as possible — and you have the option of entering Immediate Antiretroviral Therapy, or i-ART. That means administering HIV medications within three days of a positive diagnosis to decrease your viral load. This will keep you healthier, and also help lower the community viral load - which helps prevent the spread.
“Testing is such a vital part of being on PrEP and PEP,” Sanchez says. “This is easy to order, and the process is simple to navigate.”
The free HIV test can be sent through the mail or delivered to Ryan Health - and you can pick it up if privacy is a concern.
HIV home test kits are just one of the services provided by Ryan Health’s HIV Prevention, Education, and Outreach (PEO) Department. For more than 30 years, PEO has provided HIV and STI (sexually transmitted infections) services, including PrEP and PEP counseling and education.
- Conducts 13,000 HIV tests annually
- Works with 500 Ryan Health patients on PrEP network-wide
- Ensures 1,310 PLWHA (People Living with HIV/AIDS) have access to Ryan Health services