HIV self-testing kits becoming more accessible: CDC

06/07/2019 06:48 PM
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Image taken from CDC
Image taken from CDC's official website

Taipei, June 7 (CNA) The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said Friday that getting a rapid human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) self-testing kit is more convenient than ever, with online orders now available for pickup at local convenience stores.

There are two types of rapid testing kits, one that tests saliva and the other blood, and people can now get them both at designated locations or have them sent to a convenience store of their choice, CDC Deputy Director-General Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said.

Previously, the blood testing kit could only be bought at 408 designated locations across the country, leaving the saliva kit as the only one available to be ordered online and picked up at a convenience store, he said.

According to the CDC, the rapid self-testing kit costs NT$200, but there will be an additional NT$45 charge for delivery to those who opt to pick up a kit at convenience chains Family Mart, OK Mart or Hi Life.

The rapid HIV testing kit can be purchased online at: https://otc.cdc.gov.tw

Beginning Friday, anyone who purchases the kit online will receive a free packet of condoms and lubricant, Chuang said, and the offer will also be valid for purchases at any of the designated locations but only until June 30.

The CDC, meanwhile, urged people who engage in unprotected sex to conduct an HIV test at least once every year, and those with multiple sex partners to take the test once every three to six months.

Without treatment, HIV infection will usually result in acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).

A total of 1,992 new cases of HIV were reported among Taiwanese in 2018, and there were 1,091 cases of AIDS the same year, according to the latest CDC statistics.

(By Chen Wei-ting and Ko Lin)

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