HIV Tests for Everyone! You Get an HIV Test! And You Get an HIV Test!

The home test should be available in 30,000 pharmacies, grocery stores and online retailers by October, said Douglas Michels, OraSure’s chief executive. The price has not yet been set. But he said it would be higher than the $17.50 now charged to medical professionals because the company will do more complicated packaging for the home kit, open a 24-hour question line, and advertise to high-risk groups, including gay men, blacks and Hispanics, and sexually active adults. Still, he said, it will be kept inexpensive enough to appeal to people who might want to buy several a year.

These will make a great gift. I mean it. Pregnancy tests are also a great gift. You think I’m joking, but I’m absolutely not joking. Here’s how it’ll go down: You’ll be like, “Here, happy birthday! Happy graduation! Take these HIV tests! Look I wrapped them up so pretty with a bow! I’m either implying that you have too much sex or not enough sex by my gifting of them! Hilarious!” And then your friend will be like, “Oh, ha! That is funny! You know me, totally celibate/totally not celibate! Ha!” Your friend will keep them in her dresser for a long time and then one night she’ll make a sexual decision that maybe doesn’t involve protection or maybe she’ll break up with her boyfriend of several years and then decide she doesn’t trust anything about him, including the fact that he was HIV negative, as he had previously claimed.

And your joke gift of HIV tests will SAVE HER SANITY, because it’s not that big of deal! She’ll just swab her gums and wait 40 minutes and then she’ll know! You saved her weeks waiting for an appointment and then hours having to sitting in a waiting room. Well done. (She’ll also be glad in three months that you got her a second one because it takes three months for the antibodies to show up, but I, with all of my medical and psych degrees—I don’t have these—think taking one right away is good, too, mentally.)

The only question now is how much these HIV tests will cost. The current home test, which you have send to a lab, no thanks, is $58. Will it be less? Will it be more? I think $19.99 would be a great price point but what do I know (not much).

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