In recognition of the 25th anniversary of World AIDS Day, the Delaware HIV Consortium (DHC) asks Delawareans to take a moment on Sunday, December 1, 2013, to remember all those who are or have been affected and infected by HIV/AIDS. World AIDS Day began in 1988, – twenty-five years ago – by the World Health Organization (WHO), as an international day of remembrance, awareness and action regarding the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
To mark this occasion, DHC will be hosting a press conference, offering free HIV screenings and will also be announcing two new initiatives: Hepatitis-C screening and a new innovative condom distribution program.
The Delaware HIV Consortium (DHC), Orasure Technologies and Walgreens continue their relationship by providing free HIV testing and counseling – inaugurated on World AIDS Day 2012 – by offering a new testing service for Hepatitis-C. This testing will take place on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month, from 11 am – 3 pm, at Walgreens, located at 839 N. Market St,, and by appointment at the offices of the Delaware HIV Consortium, Community Services Building, 100 W. 10th Street, Suite 415, Wilmington, Delaware 19801.
This new counseling and testing service is being offered courtesy of DHC and Walgreens, with both HIV and Hepatitis C test kits being provided by Orasure Technologies in Newark, DE. Time magazine named the OraQuick ADVANCE® test one of the best inventions of 2012. The OraQuick ADVANCE® test is the only FDA-approved and CLIA-waived rapid point-of-care test that can detect antibodies to both HIV-1 and HIV-2 in 20 minutes, using oral fluid, finger-stick or venipuncture whole blood or plasma specimens. OraQuick, the first rapid in-home test, named one of the best inventions of the year is made by Orasure Technologies. Administered by an oral swab, the rapid test gives results in 20 – 40 minutes with extreme accuracy of more than 98%. The OraQuick HCV® Hepatitis antibody test, also provided by Orasure Technologies, will be used.
DHC’s new online condom distribution program – called “Dela-WEAR One” – is an innovative program, under contract with the Delaware Division of Public Health, where Delawareans 18 years of age or older can sign up to have condoms sent to their home address. One of only a few such programs in the country, Dela-WEAR One is targeted at making it easier to get condoms and to measuring the effectiveness of education efforts with follow-up interviews. The “Dela-WEAR One “Program will be available through the DHC website, www.delawarehiv.org, in mid-December.
For more information: www.delawarehiv.org or 302-654-5471.
According to the CDC, an estimated 3.2 million persons in the US have chronic hepatitis-C infection. It is estimated that three out of four people are unaware of being infected because they do not look or feel sick, or have never been tested. One in 30 baby boomers are infected with hepatitis-C. More than 50% of those testing positive for HIV also test positive for exposure to Hepatitis-C.
This initiative is designed to meet the goals of the National HIV Strategy, reduce stigma, increase HIV Counseling and Testing and to quickly link individuals who test positive for the HIV or Hepatitis-C virus into health care. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), immediate health care linkage is proven to lower the transmission of the HIV virus and improve the overall health of the infected individual.