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Magic supports 'Knowing'

4/11/2013, 3:03 p.m.
OraSure Technologies Inc., maker of the OraQuick in-home HIV Test, announced the launch of a...
IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR ORASURE - Earvin “Magic” Johnson, CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, visits Big Boy’s Neighborhood at the LA Power 106 studio to discuss the OraQuick In-Home HIV test and the importance of knowing your HIV status on Monday, March 25, 2013 in Burbank, Calif. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for OraQuick/AP Images)

OraSure Technologies Inc., maker of the OraQuick in-home HIV Test, announced the launch of a nationwide awareness campaign to encourage people to learn their HIV status. The campaign, "Make Knowing Your Thing Today," asks people across the country to share their stories about their decision to test for HIV. The awareness campaign is part of an integrated national marketing program that includes events, national and local radio promotions, outdoor advertising and television, print and digital advertising.

Earvin "Magic" Johnson has teamed up with OraSure to kick off this campaign by sharing his story of knowing and encouraging others to do the same.

"Knowing your HIV status is important, but that doesn't mean that the decision to get tested is easy. Everyone follows a different path to testing, and everyone has different reasons for doing it," said Johnson, CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises. "We need to have an open and honest dialogue about HIV/AIDS to help remove the stigma around testing so more people get tested. The more people we get to join the conversation, the more powerful the message will be. Testing for HIV/AIDS can save lives. It's everyone's thing."

The OraQuick in-home HIV test is the first ever in-home rapid infectious disease test made directly available to consumers. Launched in October 2012, the test detects antibodies to both HIV-1 and HIV-2 with an oral swab, providing a confidential in-home testing option with results in as little as 20 minutes. It is available in most national drugstore and mass merchandiser retail outlets nationwide and online at www.oraquick.com.

OraQuick has launched the "Make Knowing Your Thing Today" campaign to encourage people to take the important step toward learning their HIV status. The campaign features a contest that asks participants to submit a short video or photo with a caption and share their story about why they decided to get tested for HIV. A winning entry will be selected based on viewer voting and input from a panel of judges. The winner will be a part of a future OraQuick in-home HIV test promotion. The contest runs through July 2013.

"HIV/AIDS continues to be one of the most significant health crises facing America today. Knowing your HIV status is the best thing for everyone, regardless of age, race or sexual orientation," said Douglas A. Michels, president and CEO of OraSure Technologies. "It has never been easier than now with our OraQuick in-home HIV test, which empowers people to test in the comfort and privacy of their own home."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S. who have HIV, and approximately 240,000 of them are unaware of their status. Those who do not know they are HIV positive are disproportionately responsible for the 50,000 new HIV infections that occur each year.

Approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July 2012, the OraQuick in-home HIV test was named one of the "Best Inventions of 2012" by TIME and was also named a "Top Health Breakthrough of 2012" by Men's Health magazine. It is an over-the-counter version of OraQuick ADVANCE, an oral swab rapid test with more than 25 million units sold to the professional market, including doctors, hospitals, clinics and other trained professionals.

To ensure optimal support for individuals using the OraQuick in-home HIV test, OraSure offers live support and comprehensive referral services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year, through a toll-free support center and comprehensive consumer website at www.oraquick.com. For more information on the "Make Knowing Your Thing Today" campaign and video contest, visit www.oraquick.com/knowing.