Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium to offer HIV self-testing kits
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) will be offering HIV self-testing kits to Alaskan residents.
ANTHC in collaboration with the State of Alaska will be offering the kits to all Alaska residents age 16 and older.
According to Laurali Riley, Senior Program Manager at the HIV Early Intervention Services Department for ANTHC, the HIV Early Intervention Service Department and the STI Prevention Department at ANTHC collaborated to provide the kits for those unable to receive testing due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Riley explained, “In light of COVID, our departments put our heads together and decided it would be a really great time, and a really great resource to provide at-home HIV testing for individuals living throughout the State of Alaska so they can not only stay home, but they can also have confidence and testing options and resources as well. In development with this project, we needed to make sure people not only had availability to the kits, but they had the availability to education, resources, and clinical follow up as well.”
The kits not only provide testing, but also other resources provided by ANTHC.
“We’re not only providing the kits, but we’re providing education and resources for HIV prevention, through STI prevention and for the HIV testing follow up. So anytime anyone actually orders an HIV home testing kit, they’re going to be receiving a call from our department to make sure that they were able to perform the test correctly, if they had any questions about performing the test, and to provide any follow up support and resource development that individual might need,” commented Riley.
The kits are reportedly easy to use and come with detailed instructions on how to properly conduct the test. The test results are then confirmed with a follow up from ANTHC.
“How the HIV home test kits actually work is as an oral swab. The directions are really great, the video instructions are also very clear, and we were able to develop in-house resources just to make sure people felt very comfortable being able to do this self-collection process. It’s one time across the top gums, one time across the bottom gums, and then you actually put it into a developing solution, wait 20 minutes, and you’ll be able to get your results. What’s really great about these home HIV tests is, yes, you’re going to be able to get a result very quickly, but your results will need to be confirmed,” said Riley.
The kits are available to all residents age 16 and older, and more information on the kits can be found at iknowmine.org.
Copyright 2021 KTVF. All rights reserved.