OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma was recently identified as one of seven states in the United States with the highest rural burden of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Rapid HIV self-testing as part of an effort to reduce the spread.
HIV is a virus that attacks the body’s immune system. If HIV is not treated, it can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). The CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once in their lifetime, and at least once a year if a person participates in activities that may increase their risk.
The seven states most affected by rural HIV are Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma and South Carolina.
As part of the federal initiative to “End the HIV Epidemic in the United States,” “Oraquick” rapid home HIV tests are available free of charge to Oklahomans through the OSDH.
“This testing is part of an effort to combat the spread of HIV in places in the United States where the rate of infection is increasing,” said Terrainia Harris, director of sexual health and harm reduction. “It’s one of the many ways we hope to connect people living with HIV to the care they need.
The tests are delivered by courier in a discreetly packaged kit that also contains sexual health resources and information on additional ways to prevent the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Test kits can be ordered online or by contacting OSDH’s Sexual Health and Harm Reduction Department at 405-426-8400 or [email protected]
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