Rapid, take-home HIV Test approved
HIV affects approximately 1.2 million people in the U.S.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, there are approximately 56,000 new cases per year and about 21 percent of the people infected with HIV are unaware that they have it. So wouldn’t it be nice if people could test in the privacy of their home to see if they are infected with the virus? Now they can.
The CDC supports the use of rapid HIV tests to help reduce undiagnosed infections, late diagnosis, and link people with care.
The OraQuick Rapid HIV 1/2 Antibody Test is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This test can be ordered online and used in the privacy of one’s home. The test can detect antibodies that are related to HIV-1. All the patient has to do to administer the test is give an oral fluid sample, a drop of blood from the finger, or a sample of blood from the vein. The test results can be obtained in approximately 20 minutes.
“Before the approval of this rapid test in November, 2002, many people being tested for HIV in public clinics did not return for the results of standard tests,” said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. “Where the rapid test is available, those tested get their results within minutes. This oral test provides another important option for people who might be afraid of a blood test. It will improve care for these people and improve the public health as well.”
The test has a sensitivity rate of 99.3 percent, specificity rate of 99.8 percent (using oral fluid), and sensitivity of 99.6 percent.