Earving “Magic” Johnson is the latest person to endorse Orasure Technologies OraQuick, the first ever FDA-approved take-home HIV test.

With OraQuick, the once frowned upon task of getting tested for the deadly HIV virus, can now be taken at home in a more intimate and non-judgmental environment, saving the concerned from embarrassment and scrutiny.

In a presentation for OraQuick, Johnson reflected on his many reasons behind endorsing the HIV test, including being asked by Elizabeth Glaser, a fallen friend who contracted the disease via blood transfusion.  However, it was the stigma HIV testing receives in minority communities that further got Johnson on board, “When you think about the black and brown community, the stigma behind HIV and AIDS in our community … [not wanting] anybody to see us walk into a clinic or to the doctor’s office, this kit will help. That’s the people who I was thinking about most when I thought about this kit” Johnson said.

Like its name suggest, OraQuick is fast and efficient as it produces results in 20 minutes with the use of a mouth swab that detects antibodies from HIV-1 and HIV-2 in oral fluid. OraQuick will be sold online and at retail pharmacies, such as CVS and Walgreens, for $40.

With Johnson’s endorsement, hopes are high for minority HIV testing and the end to the foolish stigma.


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Photo: Bloomberg Businessweek

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