from the inbox:
SafeGuards, Family Planning Council’s (FPC) premiere LGBT health program, is partnering with University of Pennsylvania’s HIV Prevention Research Division (HPRD) as the first community-based organization in Philadelphia to offer the FDA-approved INSTI™ Rapid HIV Test. This test, manufactured by bioLytical Laboratories, provides accurate results in 60 seconds.
FPC’s SafeGuards program will be unveiling the INSTI™ Rapid HIV Test on the UPenn Mobile Unit at Philadelphia’s Gay Pride Festival at Penn’s Landing this Sunday, June 9th. The event attracts over 12,000 people annually. “At large events like Pride, people often tell us they don’t have time to get tested for HIV,” said Brian M. Green, Director of SafeGuards. “As providers, saying ‘it only takes a minute’ helps people to stop and think “I can do this now.”’
The FDA approved INSTI™ Rapid HIV Test in July 2012 for use in community-based settings. Through the partnership between FPC’s SafeGuards program and UPenn, these local organizations can now bring this novel HIV testing option to one of Philadelphia’s highest-risk communities -- young men who have sex with men. This community has seen an increase in new HIV infections in the last few years.
"This is an important development in Philadelphia’s HIV prevention efforts,” said Dr. David Metzger, Director of UPenn’s HPRD who wholeheartedly shares Green’s enthusiasm. “We are thrilled to partner with FPC’s SafeGuards program to be the first in the city to use this technology.”
In addition to the SafeGuards program, Family Planning Council offers HIV services to a number of at-risk populations throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania. Quincy Greene, HIV Services Manager at Family Planning Council who works primarily with young, African-American gay men, sees this test as an important way to make HIV prevention relevant to the younger generation.
“These younger guys are used to instant answers, instant messaging, and instant connections with other guys,” said Greene. “Having a 60-second HIV test speaks their language.”