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Now It Becomes Clear: AHF to Launch Nation’s First 1 Minute HIV Testing

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On Saturday, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) will make history as the first community-based HIV testing program in the United States to use a revolutionary HIV test that provides results to people in just one minute.

At a gala event at the Abbey (692 Robertson Blvd) in West Hollywood from 3pm to 8pm TOMORROW, Saturday, September 22nd (with testing continuing to 12 midnight), HIV testing counselors will staff five of AHF’s free mobile testing vans parked along Robertson Boulevard near the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard in front of the Abbey offering free ‘1 Minute Results’ HIV tests to the community.

As part of the Abbey event, there will be special appearances (between 5:30pm and 6:30pm) by celebrities including Dot-Marie Jones (Shannon Beiste on Glee), Charlie David (host, E! Entertainment Television) and others.

To underscore the national launch of this one-minute testing technology—which has been widely deployed in other countries in Africa and elsewhere over the past four years, but is available now for the first time in the U.S.—AHF has planned a series of one minute activities for the gala at the Abbey including screening of one-minute movies, a cash grab booth that people may get one-minute shots at grabbing as much cash as they can—and for those testing, the chance to enter to win a specially-wrapped Fiat 500 convertible that has been generously provided by Santa Monica Fiat and which will be given away January 1st 2013 after a few subsequent ‘1 Minute Results’ testing events scheduled throughout the Southland.

bioLytical Laboratories’ one-minute HIV test, the INSTI™ Rapid HIV Test, was approved for widespread use in United States in late July by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

At the time, Whitney Engeran-Cordova, Senior Director of AHF’s Public Health Division, said, “The increased availability of the INSTI(TM) 60-second rapid test in the U.S. … is a game-changer and will allow for large-scale testing events and new ways for point-of-care testing in Emergency Rooms. Most importantly, it will lead to new techniques of reaching people.”

According to a bioLytical statement of the time of FDA approval in July, “The INSTI(TM) Rapid HIV Antibody Test is the first rapid HIV test to meet the stringent requirements of the updated Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) guidelines, which pertain to the complexity of laboratory tests. A CLIA Waived test is categorized as a ‘simple laboratory examination or procedure that has an insignificant risk of an erroneous result,’ meaning the tests can be performed by untrained users at point-of-care (POC) locations across the country.”

BioLytical also noted, “The INSTI(TM) Rapid HIV-1 Antibody Test, the world’s only proven 60-second test for HIV/AIDS, is being made more widely available to the U.S. population. Found to meet the CLIA Waived performance requirements for finger-stick blood samples, INSTI(TM) can now be used by HIV testers and healthcare providers in a significantly expanded variety of settings.”

“Unlike other tests that take 15 to 30 minutes for results, the INSTI™ test produces results in as little as 60 seconds—a revolution for testing here in the U.S.,” said Jessie Gruttadauria, Director of Public Health for AHF.

“AHF has used more than one million INSTI™ tests over the past four years in our programs and partnerships in Uganda, India, Mexico and Estonia,” said Terri Ford, Senior Director of Global Policy and Advocacy. “We find it to be the best test out there today, and very popular with testing partners around the world. We are very glad that we can now also bring this testing technology home to people here in the U.S.”

“We’re encouraging people to come out and get tested and grab a chance to win a brand new convertible Fiat 500, spend some time in the cash booth, have some photo booth fun, and enjoy drink specials and other great giveaways!” said Samantha Granberry, Associate Director of Media for AHF, who coordinated much of the media campaign for this event.

Additional events will take place at Mickey’s on Wednesday from 8pm-1am and again at Here Lounge on Sunday from 5-9pm for more One-Minute HIV Testing, drink specials, more photo booth fun and another chance to win the convertible Fiat 500!


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