The Access Health Louisiana network is now offering free home HIV testing with virtual testing assistance.
The free home HIV testing and virtual testing assistance will give individuals an opportunity to connect to the care and resources needed for prevention and long-term treatment. "Today, we have several tools in our ‘HIV toolbox,’ ranging from prevention to long-term treatment,” said Lauren Fidelak, director of HIV Outreach Services at Access Health Louisiana. “For example, we now know that if the copies of HIV in a person’s body or the viral load reach an undetectable level, they cannot transmit HIV to an intimate partner. Viral load suppression is achieved by taking antiretroviral therapy, or ART, and for many people living with HIV, this is only one pill once a day. This concept is called undetectable = untransmittable, or U=U, and it is one of the most important parts of our HIV toolbox."
Pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, which if taken daily, is highly effective in preventing new HIV infections. There are several programs across the country, such as Ready, Set, PrEP!, that are making PrEP increasingly accessible to all who need it, regardless of their insurance status or ability to pay. “PrEP is like birth control. Birth control pills prevent an unplanned pregnancy tomorrow, while PrEP will prevent an unintended HIV exposure today,” says Mark Alain Déry, DO. Déry is the chief innovation officer and infectious diseases physician with Access Health Louisiana.
Test kits can be ordered by calling (504) 500-8904, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or through the survey on the Access Health Louisiana website under “Free Home HIV Testing.” If you have any questions about the program, call the Home HIV Testing Warmline at (504) 500-8904 between 8 a.m.-10 p.m. any day of the week.