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Emory launches program to deliver 1 million rapid HIV self-tests across the country
Media Contact
Rob Spahr
Associate Director, Media Relations and Health Sciences Communications
Hands holding an HIV ribbon

Today marks the launch of the Emory University-led collaborative project, Together TakeMeHome, the largest nationwide HIV self-testing program to date.

The program, initiated in response to a decline in the number of HIV tests administered nationwide during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, is designed to increase awareness of HIV status in the U.S. by making HIV testing more accessible and as easy as possible.

Together TakeMeHome provides free HIV self-tests by mail to residents of all 50 states and Puerto Rico who enroll through the program’s website ( The HIV self-tests are FDA-approved OraQuick devices (OraSure Technologies, Inc.) that use mouth swabs and take only 20 minutes to get a result.

Visitors to the Together TakeMeHome website will also find information and resources on using the self-test, what to do based on the self-test result, and how to access other services related to HIV prevention and overall sexual health. Trained staff will be available to provide referrals to HIV prevention and care services, including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

“Our goal is to provide up to 1 million HIV self-tests over the five-year program,” says Travis Sanchez, DVM, MPH, professor at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health and the program’s executive director. “By giving people an easy option to know their HIV status, Together TakeMeHome can help people, particularly those disproportionately affected by HIV, take this first important step in preventing and treating HIV.” 

Though everyone can order an HIV self-test through the program, some populations bear an especially heavy burden of HIV and will be the focus of promotional efforts in this first year of the program. Those priority populations include cisgender gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, especially those who are Black/African American or Hispanic/Latino, transgender persons, and Black or African American cisgender women. The outreach to these priority populations will be led by the CDC’s Let’s Stop HIV Together (Together) campaign through a self-testing component of the social marketing campaign for both English- and Spanish-speaking audiences.

“HIV self-testing gives people the power to test on their own terms,” said Robyn Neblett Fanfair, MD, MPH, acting director of CDC’s Division of HIV Prevention. “Removing barriers to testing like stigma, discrimination, and access to physical services improves health, advances health equity, and moves our nation closer to ending the HIV epidemic.”

Multiple studies have demonstrated the value of self-testing for increasing the frequency of HIV testing, identifying new diagnoses and reaching people who reported that they have never previously tested for HIV. CDC recommends that everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care, and more often for people who have risk factors that increase their chances of getting HIV. Delayed diagnoses can lead to poor health outcomes and increased HIV transmission. 

Together TakeMeHome addresses common barriers to testing, such as stigma, privacy concerns, cost and lack of access to HIV clinics by offering HIV self-tests through mail delivery.  

Together TakeMeHome is built on partnerships and collaborations amongst several organizations, all playing crucial roles in the implementation of the program. Partnering organizations include Building Healthy Online Communities (BHOC), Signal Group, Orasure Technologies and NASTAD.

The project expands on BHOC’s TakeMeHome HIV self-testing program, and on a national demonstration project that took place in 2021 when Emory, BHOC, and other partners worked with CDC to distribute 100,000 free HIV self-tests in eight months.

Together TakeMeHome is funded by CDC under award number 1NU62PS924790. The total amount of the award over five years is up to $41.5 million. The program will be monitored and evaluated with data from multiple sources, including order information, web traffic/referral tracking, surveys and qualitative interviews.

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