NEW YORK, (World AIDS Day, December 1, 2011) – A partnership announced today between healthcare diagnostics company, Alere Inc. (NYSE: ALR), and the global health organization, PSI (Population Services International), demonstrates that social media can help save lives. As part of its “Make (+) More Positive” campaign designed to promote HIV awareness and provide optimism to those impacted by the virus, Alere will donate one HIV rapid test to PSI for every “like” on Facebook, “follower” on Twitter, or piece of artwork submitted to the campaign’s social media websites – with a goal of donating up to one million tests.
“An HIV test is a simple and reliable tool for knowing one’s HIV status and, if diagnosed positive, an important trigger for seeking proper care and encouraging one’s partner to get tested,” said Karl Hofmann, President and CEO of PSI. “PSI is pleased to join Alere in this innovative campaign to accelerate access to HIV testing and treatment on a global scale.”
Launched on July 17 at the International AIDS Society Conference in Rome, Alere’s “Make (+) More Positive” campaign has built a community of individuals living with or affected by HIV, artists, activists, and healthcare professionals who are committed to infusing the (+) sign with optimism. To date, more than one thousand pieces of art have been created, and these pieces are now being displayed on www.morepositive.com and www.facebook.com/MorePositive.
Alere’s partnership with PSI is an important next step in the campaign. Last year alone, PSI provided more than 1.8 million men, women, and youth with HIV testing and counseling services in 26 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Alere’s donation campaign aims to expand these important programs to increase knowledge of HIV status and access to care and treatment.
“Both Alere and PSI are dedicated to bringing healthcare to every community around the world,” said Tom Lindsay, a director of business development for Alere in Africa. “While Alere’s core competency is the design and delivery of advanced healthcare technology, PSI’s chief expertise lies in providing people, no matter where they are, with the health education, products and services they need. Through this partnership, we can achieve our shared health goals in less time, with fewer resources, and have a greater impact.”
Alongside HIV testing, one of the chief missions of Alere’s “Make (+) More Positive” campaign is to show that, with advances in healthcare, living positively can be a reality, now more than ever. Alere’s Determine™ HIV 1/2 Ag/Ab Combo tests help identify HIV earlier than other rapid tests. Moreover, the Alere Pima™ CD4 Analyzer gives healthcare practitioners access to rapid, absolute CD4 results and enables them to initiate antiretroviral therapy and monitoring in a timely, appropriate manner.
Prior to the use of onsite products like the CD4 Analyzer, healthcare providers in resource-poor countries spent days driving to remote locations, administering blood tests, transporting samples to labs for analysis and tracking down patients to initiate or alter therapy. Now, results are available in less than 20 minutes, and therapy can be started or altered in the same visit.
“The ultimate theme of the ‘Make (+) More Positive’ campaign is optimism,” said Lindsay. “By connecting people worldwide through social media and improving access to HIV tests, Alere and PSI can demonstrate that a better life after one is found to be HIV-positive is indeed possible, while simultaneously slowing the spread of this preventable virus.”
Alere product availability varies by region.
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By developing new capabilities in near-patient diagnosis, monitoring and health management, Alere enables individuals to take charge of improving their health and quality of life at home. Alere’s global leading products and services, as well as its new product development efforts, focus on cardiology, women’s health, infectious disease, oncology and toxicology. Alere is headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts. For more information regarding Alere please visit www.alere.com.
PSI is a global non-profit organization dedicated to improving the health of people in the developing world by focusing on serious challenges like lack of family planning, HIV/AIDS, malaria, contaminated water and threats to maternal and child health. Website: http://www.psi.org ; Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PSIHealthyLives; Blog: http://www.psi.org/HealthyLives