vending machine
For a pilot program, vending machines at a bathhouse in Los Angeles offer free at-home oral HIV testing kits.
A vending machine at the Flex Spas gay bathhouse in Los Angeles offers free at-home oral HIV testing kits. It’s part of a pilot program in collaboration with the University of California, Los Angeles’s Global Health Program and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). A previous study found that guys liked the vending machine option because it offered convenience, confidentiality and credibility. For example, the men could even take the test home and use it privately whenever they’re ready.

Researchers like the option too. It provides 24-hour access to testing and also targets men at very high risk for HIV. “It’s our hope that vending machine test kits will create much-needed awareness and be a gateway to more comprehensive sexual health screening,” says Mark McGrath, a policy and research analyst for AHF. “Thus far, the vending machine has exceeded the traditional method of testing in this venue, which relies on health department trained personnel and has limited hours of availability.”