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Repurposed Covid lab tests rape kits

Words by Tess Becker

The pandemic completely overran our lives for at least two years, and until a vaccine gained US Food and Drug Administration approval on August 23, 2021, labs around the world were busy with Covid research. 

But the WHO recently announced that Covid-19 is no longer an international emergency and with that many of the former Covid labs were left without much to do. One of these labs, in North Carolina decided to get creative. 

There are well over 100,000 untested rape kits across the United States, many regard this as a mistreatment of justice but police departments argue that they just don’t have the resources to comb through the test kits. 

That’s where this North Carolina lab, StarMed Healthcare, stepped in. In a helpful pivot, it is repurposing its resources to help clear the “rape kit backlog.”

“In the whole country, there are 6 or 7 of these labs, and that’s it,” said Dr. Arin Piramzadian, StarMed’s Chief Medical Officer. “The victim themselves needs closure.”

“There are state agencies out there that are happy about a 120-day turnaround time. We want to make sure we are faster,” said Dr. Piramzadian.

The repurposed lab can process two to four thousand kits per year.  

Charity check-in

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

American Civil Liberties Union. This is one of the largest civil liberty defense organizations in the US. Find out more and support them here

Human Rights Campaign. This is one of the largest equality-focused organizations in the US. Find out more

The Trevor Project. They focus on suicide prevention and mental health support for queer youth. Support them here

This article aligns with the UN SDG Good Health and Wellbeing.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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