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Confide has been approved as the first home collection HIV testing and counseling service. It will be initially available on a limited basis in the states of Texas and Florida in June of 1996, and nationwide in early 1997.
Confide will allow people, in the privacy of their own homes, to take a small blood sample from their fingertip, mail it to the designated medical laboratory for analysis and then anonymously obtain results, professional counseling, and referrals by telephone.
To use the Confide service, clients use a safe, retractable lancet to get a few drops of blood from a fingertip and place them on the Confide Test Card. The card is mailed in a pre-paid, pre-addressed protective envelope to the Confide laboratory. This laboratory provides a result with the same accuracy as testing for HIV conducted in a doctor's office or hospital. Seven days after mailing their blood sample, clients dial a toll-free number and punch in their unique Personal Identification Number (PIN) to obtain their results in complete anonymity. This unique number is the only way a sample is identified and the only way a test result can be obtained.
Confide counselors are professionals who are experienced in HIV counseling and who can offer clients emotional support, advice, and referrals to medical treatment and other support services. All counselors undergo an extensive training program developed in consultation with the American Social Health Association. The Confide Result Center offers results, counseling and referrals in multiple languages and through a touch-tone device for the hearing impaired.
HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS and is the leading cause of death among people 25 to 44 years old in the United States.