The first home HIV test was approved in 1996 (and in 2012 for the first and only FDA approved home test), but uptake seems to have never been, shall we say, robust.
COVID-19 lockdowns have provided new movement toward expansion of HIV home testing, with subsequent guidance for agencies and consumers and new initiatives on the front-lines. Below are highlights on efforts to expand HIV home testing, not only in the context of COVID-19 but also in support of the Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America strategy to diagnose all people with HIV as early as possible.
- CDC issued a Dear Colleague HIV Self Testing Guidance letter in April 2020 supporting expanded home testing with a heads-up to jurisdictions on future guidance on surveillance reporting on these tests. In June, FDA updated its information on the OraQuick in-home HIV test in June, as HIV.gov explains in this blog.
- HRSA Heath Centers can now purchase and provide the FDA-approved HIV home test to their patients. See the May 27, 2020 BPHC Bulletin: HIV Self-Testing.
Work in the Field
- The work of several states to expand home self-testing are featured in HIV.gov's blog, HIV Self-Testing Programs to Improve Testing Uptake and Increase Diagnoses, which recaps a NASTAD webinar on the subject.
- Additional tools on at-home HIV testing have been developed by various agencies, like Chicago's Howard Brown Health. NACCHO highlights their Telehealth Resources for Providing HIV/STI Services, which detail specimen collection and workflows.
See Ryan White and HIV Testing Day (June 27)