N.O. Campaign to End HIV Epidemic Celebrates Milestone

168795642482365289NEW ORLEANS – On June 27, the “Bounce to Zero” campaign announced a 2,033% increase in HIV testing since its inception in December 2022. The milestone comes on National HIV Testing Day, aimed at raising awareness about the importance of testing for HIV. Bounce to Zero is an initiative of the New Orleans Health Department.

Prior to the Bounce to Zero campaign, requests for the test kits averaged 1.1 per month. In the first 6.75 months since the launch of the campaign, requests for test kits have averaged 23.7 per month.

“Getting tested and knowing your HIV status is the first and most crucial step in ending this terrible epidemic,” said Dr. Tina Simpson, section chief of Tulane Adolescent Medicine. “Bounce to Zero’s increased testing results are outstanding and a step in the right direction. We will end this epidemic, but we need everyone to get tested, take the pledge and follow the campaign on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.”

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The New Orleans metro area has the highest number of HIV cases in Louisiana and is one of 57 priority jurisdictions in the federal effort to end the HIV epidemic in the U.S. by 2030.

NOLA Your Status, part of the campaign, is the first step in managing health and sexual wellbeing. The text request initiative provides at-home HIV test kits at no cost.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care and more often if there is a higher risk of contracting HIV.

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Anyone in the New Orleans metro area can request a free at-home HIV test kit by texting TEST to (504) 290-0145. Within 72 hours, an at-home testing navigator will make contact to walk individuals through the testing process in the privacy of their own homes and help interpret results. The test kits, which have a 20-minute wait time for results, use an oral swab and do not require finger pricks or blood.

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