The Alabama Department of Health (ADPH) has come up with a new way to privately administer STD tests. They’re offering free at-home STD/HIV testing kits to all Alabama residents ages 12 and older. The new project is in collaboration with Binx Health, and Alabamians can get the tests delivered straight to their homes. Keep reading to learn more.
Protecting Alabama’s public health
The purpose of ADPH’s new initiative is to strengthen the STD/HIV prevention and control program in Alabama. Why does this matter? According to ADPH, one in two sexually active young people will acquire an STD before age 25, and most will not be aware of it. That statistic stopped me in my tracks.
ADPH hopes that in-home testing will encourage more Alabamians to become aware of their STD status. These private tests are more discrete–they allow people to find out their results in a comfortable and private location.
Tony Christon-Walker, the Director of Prevention and Community Partnership at AIDS Alabama, had mixed opinions on at-home STD and HIV tests.
“I think at-home tests are a good solution for people diagnosing STDs. I don’t like them for HIV. When people get an HIV test, they’re anxious, they’re emotionally charged. A positive test could cause someone to harm themselves or someone else. Someone needs to be with you to walk you through the process,” Christon-Walker reflected.
Logistics of the program
Alabamians can request an STD/HIV test kit every three months. Binx typically ships testing supplies two days after a request. Specimen collection kits are mailed straight to a patient’s home and contain supplies to collect blood from a fingerstick, urine, and other collection sites.
Afterwards, the kit is mailed to the lab for testing. Final results are given to a clinician who provides results and treatment recommendations to a patient. The laboratory-conducted test is sensitive enough to detect recent HIV infection.
Specific information about requesting a test, test results, treatment and follow-up is available at https://adph.mybinxhealth.com/
In-person, confidential STD tests are also available statewide. To find a convenient clinic, contact your nearest county health department https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/publications/assets/countycontacts.pdf.
For more on public health in Alabama, check out https://thebamabuzz.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-american-rescue-plan-how-its-helping-alabamians-with-healthcare-costs/.