You can now test for HIV at home

The Food and Drug Administration hasapprovedOraQuick, a product that allows you to test for HIV in your own home. An over-the-counter test already existed but required you to prick your finger and send the blood sample to a lab.  But the new test allows users to take a swab from the inside of their gums and wait 20 to 40 minutes to see the results.

Dr. Robert Gallo, who headed the National Institutes of Health lab that developed the first American HIV blood test calls the news,“wonderful because it will get more people into care.” Mark Harrington, the executive director of the Treatment Action Group, (TAG), the independent AIDS research and policy think tank and advocacy organization,   agrees that, “[a]ny tool that speeds up diagnosis is really needed.” And Karen Midthun, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said,

“Knowing your status is an important factor in the effort to prevent the spread of HIV…. The availability of a home-use HIV test kit provides another option for individuals to get tested so that they can seek medical care, if appropriate.”

Read more at Feministing

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