HIV testing is self-care: Today is National HIV Testing Day

Knowledge of HIV status is the first step to accessing prevention or treatment services which enable individuals to live a long and healthy life regardless of their status. HIV testing is free, easy, fast, and confidential at the Malheur County Health Department. Call 541-889-7279 to schedule an appointment.

The importance of HIV testing is included in the National HIV/AIDS Strategy for the United States 2022-2025 (PDF 1.76 MB), and one of its objectives, To Increase Knowledge of HIV Status, aligns with NHTD. Further, CDC recommends the following HIV testing:

  • Everyone between the ages of 13 and 64 should get tested for HIV at least once as part of routine health care.
  • Those with certain ongoing risk factors—such as having more than one sex partner since their last HIV test or having sex with someone whose sexual history they don’t know—should get tested annually. Some sexually active gay and bisexual men may benefit from more frequent testing (e.g., every 3 to 6 months).
  • As part of proactive prenatal care, all pregnant women should receive certain blood tests to detect infections and other illnesses, such as HIV, syphilis, and Hepatitis B.

iHealth home test expiration dates extended (updated July 2022)

Reminder: Order free COVID-19 test kits through COVIDtests.gov only through Friday, September 2, 2022. More information here.

iHealth rapid-antigen home COVID-19 tests have had another three-month extension in their expiration dates granted by the Food and Drug Administration. This which extends the shelf-life of all iHealth tests from 6 months to 12 months. iHealth will continue to apply to FDA for shelf-life extensions every three months based on stability studies, and the new shelf-lives for home tests will apply to tests already produced as well as future production. See the FDA iHealth extension dates, as of July 8, 2022, here.

iHealth home tests were provided locally to non-profit organizations, churches and individuals by the Malheur County Health Department and Oregon Health Authority, and were also mailed to private residences by the federal government. If you have not received your tests from the federal government, you may request them here.

iHealth Rapid Antigen tests are authorized for non-prescription home use with self-collected anterior nasal swab samples from individuals age 15 or older who have symptoms of COVID-19 within the first seven days of symptom onset. People age 2-15 may use the test, if an adult collects the swab samples. Test results are available in 15 minutes.

Rapid antigen tests such as the iHealth test will not be accepted as proof of a negative COVID-19 test for travel.

Avoid counterfeit at-home tests

Counterfeit at-home COVID-19 tests are circulating throughout the United States. Counterfeit tests are not authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and may not function properly.

At this time, the FDA has identified two counterfeit tests that are made to look a lot like Flowflex COVID-19 Test Kits and iHealth Antigen Rapid Test Kits. (iHealth tests distributed by Oregon Health Authority are NOT counterfeit.)

For examples of counterfeit at-home COVID-19 tests, what to do if you have one and other testing resources, visit http://ow.ly/cZtL50J82sf.

Before using an at-home COVID-19 test, make sure it’s on the FDA’s list of authorized at-home tests: http://ow.ly/l1W950J82sg

You can also order free COVID-19 tests directly from the federal government which are not counterfeit: http://ow.ly/n64n50J82se

End HIV in Oregon

Imagine an Oregon where…
We end new HIV infections.
Everyone with HIV is healthy.
Can you imagine it? 

End HIV Oregon. 

Testing is easy.

Everyone has an HIV status and all Oregonians need to know theirs. It’s as easy as ever to get tested for HIV. Confidential HIV testing is available throughout Oregon. There are rapid tests which give results within 20 minutes, including home HIV test kits that can be purchased in drug stores and pharmacies. If you live in Oregon and haven’t been tested for HIV in the past year, you may qualify for a free at-home rapid HIV test. You can also ask your doctor for a confidential HIV test as part of a routine medical visit. Most insurance plans cover the cost of HIV testing. Free, confidential testing is offered at the Malheur County Health Department. Call 541-889-7279 to schedule an appointment.

HIV testing is recommended for everyone at least once in their life. Six out of every 10 Oregonians have never been tested for HIV, and Oregon sees 210-230 new infections every year. In 2020 and 2021, new HIV cases nearly quadrupled in Eastern Oregon.

Getting tested is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Order a free at-home HIV test kit here.

Order free condoms here.

Contact the Malheur County Health Department for more information, for a free, confidential HIV test, or for free condoms.

More information about ending HIV in Oregon can be found here.

Yes means test

2019 was another record year for STIs (sexually transmitted infections). According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) rates of reported STIs rose for the sixth straight year, and they continue to rise today. Young people continue to endure a big share of the STI burden. About half of the 20 million cases of STIs each year are in people ages 15-25.

Chlamydia is the STI most commonly reported to CDC—about 1.8 million cases in 2019, a 19% rate increase since 2015. Young women ages 15-24 account for nearly half of these cases. Yet, chlamydia and gonorrhea frequently have no symptoms. Without diagnosis and treatment, they can cause serious complications such as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. Given the potential health problems, CDC recommends annual testing for sexually active women under 25.

Yes Means Test, a campaign from the American Sexual Health Association, addresses the need for testing. The group aims to reduce the stigma around STI tests. YES Means YES has become a sexual empowerment movement. It’s about the right to make your own choices about sex—and have those choices respected. The Yes Means TEST campaign aligns with that movement, empowering people who say “yes” to sex with an understanding of the rights and responsibilities that choice carries. YES means TEST helps steer the conversation: “Yes” to sex, means “Yes” to getting tested.

Call the Malheur County Health Department to schedule your test. 541-889-7279.

iHealth at-home test kits expiration dates extended

If you received iHealth at-home test kits in the mail from the federal government, or from an organization within Malheur County, the expiration dates printed on the boxes are no longer accurate.

The new expiration date is three months later than the date printed on the box. The easiest way to remember this in the future is to find your boxes, cross out the dates on them, and hand-write a date that is three months later than the printed date. Store your boxes so those with the latest expiration date are used last, and those that will expire first are used first.

If you have not received at-home test kits, but would like some, go to www.covidtests.gov to order as many as four boxes for your household.

Last free testing event is today

Today is your last chance for free, drive-through, PCR COVID-19 testing. The Oregon Health Authority has hosted events the past three weeks and today, March 3, 2022, is the last of the series. It will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Ontario Airport Firehouse, 3288 SW 4th Ave., in Ontario.

Free testing event is Thursday

Thursday, February 24 and March 3, weekly, free, drive-through, COVID-19 PCR testing is available at the Firehouse at the Ontario Municipal Airport (3288 SW 4th Ave, Ontario) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

COVID-19 symptoms or exposure to an infectious person is not required for this type of test, which is more accurate than a rapid antigen test for people who are not symptomatic. Rapid tests are still a good option for people with symptoms. PCR testing is not rapid, but turnaround time is expected to only be 36-48 hours.

These weekly testing events will help us reduce community transmission and relieve some of the tremendous burden on our health care providers to provide tests.

Please share the flyers in English and Spanish with your coworkers, family, and neighbors!

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Free testing today

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Today and for the next two Thursdays, weekly, free, drive-through, COVID-19 PCR testing is available at the Firehouse at the Ontario Municipal Airport (3288 SW 4th Ave, Ontario) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Additional scheduled dates are Thursdays, Feb. 24 and March 3.

COVID-19 symptoms or exposure to an infectious person is not required for this type of test, which is more accurate than a rapid antigen test for people who are not symptomatic. Rapid tests are still a good option for people with symptoms. PCR testing is not rapid, but turnaround time is expected to only be 36-48 hours.

Local case rates are decreasing in Malheur County, but are still very high, and test positivity rates have ranged between 18-38% in the last month. Best practice is to provide enough testing to keep the test positivity rate below 5%. These weekly testing events will help us reduce community transmission and relieve some of the tremendous burden on our health care providers to provide tests.

Please share the flyers in English and Spanish with your coworkers, family, and neighbors!

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 2-2022-drive-thru-covid-19-testing-thursdays-feb-10-mar-3-spanish.jpg