Full Court Press: "Magic" Johnson Teams With Test-kit Company To Promote HIV-status Awareness

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Earvin "Magic" Johnson teamed with OraSure and recently launched a nationwide awareness campaign to encourage everyone to learn their HIV status. OraSure Technologies, Inc., is the maker of the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test.

The awareness campaign is part of an integrated national marketing program that includes events, as well as national and local radio, outdoor advertising, television, print and digital advertising. Johnson has been 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," Johnson, CEO of Magic Johnson Enterprises, said. "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 available directly 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 OraQuick.com.

OraQuick launched the "Make Knowing Your Thing Today" campaign to encourage people to take the important step towards learning their HIV status. The campaign features a contest, which asks participants to submit a short video or photo with caption at www.OraQuick.com/knowing, to 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," Douglas A. Michels, President and Chief Executive Officer of OraSure Technologies, said. "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 (CDC), there are approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S. that 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 (FDA) 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 in the professional market, including doctors, hospitals, clinics and other trained professionals.

To ensure optimal support for individuals using the 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.

The OraQuick Support Center is staffed with highly trained, bi-lingual (English/Spanish) representatives who are available by telephone at 866-436-6527 to answer questions about HIV/AIDS and using and interpreting the test. They also provide referrals to follow-up and care, and can take orders for the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test. Additionally, the product website provides access to resources and referral to follow-up counseling, confirmatory testing and medical care.

For more information on the "Make Knowing Your Thing Today" campaign and video contest, visit www.OraQuick.com/knowing.

For more information on OraSure Technologies, please visit www.orasure.com

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