First In-Home HIV Test To Hit Retail Stores In the US

Recently the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the very first over the counter HIV test kit that allows individuals to test themselves in the comfort of their own homes.1 Would that not make you more inclined to take the test?  This is important because people will no longer have to make the effort to schedule a doctor’s appointment and be able to take the test in the comfort of their own home.

The OraQuick In-Home HIV Test is the first rapid diagnostics test for any infectious disease and works by detecting the antibodies that are part of the human HIV virus1.  You must simply take an oral swab and place it in the vial that is provided in the kit.  Within 20 to 40 minutes, you will have your results1.  If your results happen to be positive it doesn’t mean that you are definitely infected with the HIV.  Clinical studies have shown that “the kit is expected to show one false positive out of every 50,000 results and one false negative out of every 12 results.”  The over the counter test was not meant to replace medical testing but simply to provide another way for people to find out their HIV statuses virus. If you do test positive using this in-home test, it is recommended that you see your doctor to verify the results.1

The goal of providing the first In-Home HIV test is to encourage more people to get tested and hopefully identify large numbers of people who are living with HIV but are unaware of their HIV+ status.  According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “an estimated 1.2 million Americans are living with HIV, of which around 1 in 5 are not aware of it.”2

This is another advance in the fight against HIV/AIDS and marks the first time the FDA has approved an in-home test to diagnose the disease.  If this test is a success and leads to a diminish in the spread of the HIV virus, chances are more tests will become over the counter in an attempt to offer privacy to those taking them and to stop the spread of other illnesses. We’ll be waiting eagerly to see if this over the counter test is able to identify a larger number of people living with undiagnosed HIV viruses across America. The hope is that once these individuals are aware their HIV status, they will take the necessary precautions to stop the transmission of the virus from one person to the next.

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