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Quick results oral HIV test donated
to save time and worry

Photo(s) by Luke Thomas

June 24, 2006

A new HIV test for those repelled by needles and too frightened to come back later for results was available in San Francisco yesterday.

A simple gum swab is used and results are available in 30 minutes to less than an hour, explained the donating manufacturer.

Gum swab demonstrated

City officials Thursday spotlighted awareness of the easy test during Pride 2006 Week.

From the Mayor's Office of Communications

In observance of the National Association of People with AIDS' (NAPWA) National HIV Testing Day 2006, Mayor Gavin Newsom, Supervisor Bevan Dufty, and Public Health Director Dr. Mitch Katz, held a press conference at the UCSF AIDS Health Project, to kick off a campaign designed to generate awareness for the need for rapid HIV testing.

Castro District Supervisor Bevan Dufty hails user friendly test with, from left, Eric Ciasullo, OraSure vice president for government affairs; San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, and City Health Department Director Dr. Mitch Katz.

National HIV Testing Day, held every year on June 27, is a NAPWA initiative that sends the message from people living with AIDS to those at risk to "Take the Test. Take Control." The Mayor took the opportunity to also thank and acknowledge OraSure Technologies, for their generous donation of 500 OraQuick ADVANCE Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test to the city of San Francisco.

NAPWA's Mayors Campaign Against HIV is a national call to action to mayors and their constituents to get tested for HIV on National HIV Testing Day and promote the benefits of knowing ones' HIV status.

NAPWA and OraSure Technologies, manufacturer of the OraQuick ADVANCE Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody Test, are partnering with city public health departments and community-based organizations as part of this nationwide effort.

"HIV has disproportionately impacted San Francisco since the 1980's and remains extremely prevalent, affecting people regardless of race, age, sex, gender, and orientation," said Mayor Newsom.

Mayor Gavin Newsom

"I want to thank organizations like the National Association of People with AIDS and OraSure Technologies for their commitment to bringing awareness to San Francisco," Newsom added, "I encourage San Franciscans to get tested for HIV on National HIV Testing Day."

Supervisor Dufty, a strong advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention added, "Now more then ever, being informed and aware of one's status helps to make the right choices for the long run."

According to the Department of Public Health, as of December 2004, San Francisco ranked fourth amongst metropolitan cities in the cumulative number of cases of AIDS and seventh in the AIDS incidence rate.

As of today, there are an estimated 18,735 person living with AIDS/HIV in San Francisco. This includes 8,669 persons living with AIDS, 6,084 living with HIV, and approximately 3,982 who are HIV positive.

The Department of Public Health's 2005 Annual report and the March 2006
Quarterly AIDS report indicate that an estimated 977 individuals will acquire HIV in 2006 in San Francisco.

The largest proportion of cases remains among men who have sex with men (MSM), followed by MSM who inject drugs. Together, they account for 85% of persons living with AIDS or recently diagnosed with HIV.

Founded in 1983, NAPWA is the oldest national AIDS organization in the United States, and the oldest national network of people living with HIV/AIDS in the world. NAPWA has been, and continues to be, an essential voice in HIV/AIDS.




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