May 15, 2012
Today Housing Works' Larry Bryant, Director of National Advocacy and Organizing testified before a panel of the Food and Drug Administration, who ultimately approved an over-the-counter HIV test (you can watch the proceedings here). If fully approved by the FDA, it could be soon purchased at your local drug store.
Housing Works' official position paper can be read in its entirety below. In short, we believe that
Given the goal of reducing HIV infection rates, over the counter testing adds an additional tool to our prevention tool kits. They enhance self-determination and control over ones HIV risk. They increase peoples ability of learning their status and, assuming proper care is taken with packaging materials, can protect peoples privacy. Packaging information needs to provide all necessary information so that people can make informed decisions on how they chose to get tested as well as to how they can access care. Systems need to be put in place to increase likelihood of access to care and support should test results warrant immediate attention. If we truly want to see and AIDS free generation it is incumbent upon us to effectively use every tool available.