HIV Self-Testing: Opportunities, Issues and Ethics

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The DC Center

2000 14th St.NW, Washington, DC  20009


In 2012, the FDA approved over-the-counter sale of rapid HIV-tests.  More than just a way for people to test themselves, this opens up greater access for people to test in different  arenas and with different people.  For some, such as people who are well-informed about HIV, who  test regularly, or are in relationships with people who have HIV, this may be easier than going to a clinic.  For many others, for whom HIV is more of a syndemic (an aggregate of 2 or more bio-psycho-social conditions that interact), this option allows for testing with professionals such as social workers and psychologists working with clients on other issues such as trauma and addictions to introduce testing into their practice in a way that better serves the client in both health and empowerment. 

With these new opportunities come responsibilities, including ethical considerations for professionals.  This workshop will be an opportunity for professionals, activists and people concerned about stopping the spread of HIV to learn more about self-testing and how it can be a piece of the puzzle to stop the spread of HIV. We will be reviewing the basics of HIV, the benefits and limitations of self-testing, and making connections to that self-testing is done with the utmost of integrity and safety. This event is free and open to the public.  

Brad Ogilvie, MS, LMFT, is a part-time counselor in Washington, DC as well as Program Coordinator for William Penn House, a Quaker program center on Capitol Hill.  He founded The Mosaic Initiative in 2005 as an organization focused on stopping the HIV/AIDS pandemic.  As a result of seeing people turned away from HIV-testing because they were not “high-risk”, he became involved in advocating for more options.  He also takes the “people need counseling” concern to heart, and the reason he encourages mental health professionals to integrate testing into their practice.  Previously, he has run an AIDS housing program and education center in IL, worked in holistic HIV clinic in the mid-1990’s, and traveled to rural Kenya to be a part of community engagement on HIV (including building a community center there).  He has also been living with HIV for 28 years.  You can see more about his practice at  

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