Americans concerned they have been infected with the HIV virus will soon be able to find out using a quick testing kit in their own homes. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US has approved the test, which is expected to go on sale in the country within months.
The test, manufactured by OraQucik, uses saliva from a mouth swab and gives results in 20 to 40 minutes. Until now, individuals have had to visit their doctor or specific clinics to be tested. It’s believed that around a quarter of a million people in the US are unaware that they are infected.
OraQuick hope that the ability to test in their own home will make vulnerable people and those in high risk groups more likely to find out if they are carrying the virus. It hasn’t announced the cost of the test but has suggested it will be less than £38 ($60).
The test is around 92 per cent accurate and experts have made it clear that those with negative results should take the test again in three months as it can take some time for HIV antibodies to be picked up. The FDA also stressed that additional testing by medical professionals is vital to confirm a result.
Founding director of Who's Positive, Tom Donohue, told the Associated Press: "This test will allow anyone to empower themselves to know their HIV status when, how and with whom they want to.”