OraSure Technologies, Inc., the producer of OraQuick, recently announced the introduction of its new outreach campaign "Life. As we know it"-a partnership among influential voices in at-risk groups to reach consumers through testimonials, interactive panel discussions, discussion guides and informative videos.
"After a careful analysis of available channels to gain mindshare of our target markets, we've determined that the most effective way to approach the topic is through a broader conversation on relationships, dating and sex, and through the engagement of passionate, trusted community influencers to help us introduce product," Kathleen Weber, senior vice president and general manager of consumer products at OraSure says in a press release.
The OraQuick in-home rapid HIV test may increase detection numbers, but won't reduce at-risk behavior says Curtis Lipscomb, the executive director of KICK: The Center in Detroit-the Agency of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender African-Americans.
Lipscomb says in-home testing is a step in the right direction, but a combination of testing and counseling is needed to reduce infection numbers in the African-American community.
"It's quite emotional coming to the realization that you may be at risk of contracting HIV," he says, explaining that in-home tests may create a false reality that testing and counseling institutions such as KICK and the Michigan Aids Coalition are no longer needed.
"I believe that you do need an institution that has trained testers there, to not only administer the test, but also to council those seeking to be tested."
Lipscomb adds that at-risk groups should be reducing their need to be tested for the disease by reducing at-risk behavior. There are about 17,000 people infected with HIV/Aids in Michigan, and Black gay men and Black women are those at the highest risk of infection.
"I believe that because people have a greater sense of privacy, those who may be at-risk, they may be more inclined to go to a drugstore to self-test," Lipscomb says, "It is still a prevalent issue among Black people, straight women and young gay Black men. There has to be a trained state approved test administrator. My primary job is to not only test somebody, but also council."
Get more information on the OraQuick in-home HIV test and more HIV/AIDS discussions related to African-American women at the company's website.