National Latinx AIDS Awareness Day is October 15, and Sonora Quest Laboratories, Arizona’s leading diagnostic laboratory system, is continuing to partner with Aunt Rita’s Foundation to provide vouchers for any Arizonan over 18 years of age, increasing access to free HIV testing across the state.
Those interested can simply visit GetTestedAZ.org, available in Spanish and English, to receive a free voucher and find convenient test locations. On the website, they can also choose from different testing sites and protocols based on their preferences:
- Get a blood draw for testing at a participating Sonora Quest patient service collection center.
- Visit a or Albertsons/Safeway pharmacy for a 20-minute rapid test (if positive, the person will be referred to the Aunt Rita’s Foundation to receive a secondary voucher for a confirmatory test with Sonora Quest Laboratories).
- Request an at-home HIV oral swab test kit. Confirm your results with testing at Sonora Quest.
“Sonora Quest Laboratories was honored when Aunt Rita’s asked us to be part of this mission to provide access to this vital testing,” said Nathan Mendenhall, director, Sales & Account Services at Sonora Quest Laboratories.
In Arizona, 15% of all HIV positive individuals are not aware of their status, increasing risk for continued spread of the virus. The CDC recommends that every U.S. adult be tested at least once for HIV, and that at-risk individuals be tested on a regular basis. Persons who are sexually active or sharing needles for injection drug use should be tested at least annually. Though HIV is not curable, with proactive testing and awareness, safe sex practices, and the once-daily medication PrEP, HIV is preventable and treatable.
“Our goal is to normalize HIV testing and make it as easy and accessible as possible,” said Jimmy Thomason, executive director of Aunt Rita’s Foundation. “The partnership between Aunt Rita’s and Sonora Quest reduces the barriers to testing and supports the overall goal of the Arizona Department of Health Services to have 90% of all people who are HIV positive to know their status. Awareness is the key to prevention. Knowing your HIV status is power.”
The partnership between Sonora Quest and Aunt Rita’s to provide free test vouchers began in 2019.
About Sonora Quest Laboratories
Sonora Quest Laboratories, a joint venture between Banner Health and Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX), is part of the nation’s largest integrated laboratory system with approximately 3,500 employees serving more than 28,000 patients every day throughout Arizona. Sonora Quest Laboratories is the market share leader in clinical laboratory testing in Arizona, performing more than 85 million diagnostic tests per year. Sonora Quest Laboratories offers a local comprehensive test menu which encompasses routine, molecular, prescription drug monitoring, genetic/genomic, women’s health and pathology testing services. My Lab ReQuest™ provides consumers direct access to a diverse range of affordable screening tests that can be ordered online at SonoraQuest.com or in any of Sonora Quest’s 75 patient service centers across Arizona.
Ninety-five percent of all testing is performed at the primary testing facilities located in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, Prescott and Yuma. Sonora Quest Laboratories is accredited by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), which is the gold standard in laboratory accreditation, helping laboratories to maintain accuracy of test results and ensure accurate patient diagnosis. This accreditation ensures the highest standard of care for all laboratory patients as CAP inspectors examine laboratory operations.
About Aunt Rita’s Foundation
Aunt Rita’s Foundation is dedicated to the elimination of, and suffering from, HIV and AIDS. With our basic principle of “By the Community and For the Community” we collaborate with all Arizona HIV Service Organizations philanthropically supporting their critical services while forging unique partnerships at state and local governments, as well as private corporations. Aunt Rita’s Foundation has provided more than $2,100,000 in grant funding in support of critical HIV prevention and treatment programs throughout Arizona.
Aunt Rita’s Foundation was a founding member with the City of Phoenix Fast Track Cities initiative and plays a vital role in advocating at the Arizona legislature and State Government to establish laws, regulations, and policies that further our efforts to educate, prevent HIV, and treat HIV. With the launch of HIVAZ.org and VIHAZ.org in 2014, Aunt Rita’s Foundation commenced its own HIV education, outreach, testing and advocacy initiatives to fill in the service gaps not provided by other organizations. Today we offer unique HIV testing initiatives that provide free home HIV test kits and vouchers throughout Arizona. Aunt Rita’s Foundation innovative programs have helped all Arizonans know their status, along with supporting them in the prevention and/or treatment care they need.