At-Home HIV Testing Program Surpasses Expected Reach

April 10, 2024
same sex male couple sitting on a couch

 Photo courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 

When Together TakeMeHome launched in March 2023, the ambitious goal for the initiative—the largest self-testing program in the United States to date—was to distribute 1 million self-tests in five years, or approximately 200,000 per year.

The program surpassed 444,000 tests ordered in less than a year.

While this tremendous response is certainly a cause for celebration for Together TakeMeHome— which provides free HIV self-tests by mail to residents of all 50 states and Puerto Rico—this milestone is only one indicator of how the program effectively addresses stigma by removing barriers and empowering people to learn more about their own health.

Additional Together TakeMeHome highlights include:

26% of those who provided information on prior testing history, had not previously tested for HIV. Another quarter (27%) had not tested within the last year.

72% of those who provided information on sex at birth, gender identity and race, were from communities disproportionately impacted by HIV - gay and bisexual men, cisgender Black women, and transgender women.

65% of people who provided information on their race or ethnicity were from racial and ethnic minority populations—31% Hispanic, 24% Black, and 10% who selected “other.”

9 of the top 10 U.S. jurisdictions with most orders per capita were in the U.S. South, a region with higher rates of people living with HIV.

50% of orders from within geographic areas prioritized by the federal Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S.initiative.

Nearly 70%  of orders came through dating apps.

“Accessing health care can be difficult for many people and even then, talking about sensitive health issues, such as the need for HIV testing, with their doctor can sometimes be tough. Together TakeMeHome is really filling a need for people who want that privacy and opportunity to check their HIV status at home and it’s free,” says Patrick Sullivan, PhD, the project’s lead scientist and professor of epidemiology and global health at Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health.

Together TakeMeHome is funded by CDC under award number 1NU62PS924790 and is implemented through partnership and collaboration with Emory University, Building Healthy Online Communities (BHOC), NASTAD, Signal Group, and OraSure Technologies.

The HIV self-tests are the FDA-approved OraQuick® In-Home HIV Test (OraSure Technologies, Inc.) that use mouth swabs and take only 20 minutes to get a result. Interested participants can enroll through the program’s website:

Multiple studies have demonstrated the value of self-testing for increasing the frequency of HIV testing, identifying new diagnoses and reaching people who reported they have never previously tested for HIV. Delayed diagnoses can lead to poor health outcomes and increased HIV transmission.