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FDA Approves Over The Counter “Mouth Swab” Rapid HIV Test OraQuick
(photo courtesy The Washington Post)
Soon people will be able to test themselves at home thanks to the Food and Drug Administration clearing the first rapid over the counter home test for HIV.
By simply swabbing your mouth, the OraQuick test can detect HIV antibodies in the body in as little as 20-40 minutes.
FDA officials are hoping that the availability of the at-home test will encourage individuals who would not normally go to get tested for fear of public humiliation.
“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,”
While officials are hoping to have the test ready for purchase both online and in-stores no later than October, the FDA wants to stress the fact that no test is 100% accurate and that a blood test is still required and recommended for complete and accurate results. According to the FDA,
“A trial conducted by test maker Orasure showed OraQuick detected HIV in those carrying the virus only 92 percent of the time, though it was 99.9 percent accurate in ruling out HIV in patients not carrying the virus. That means the test could miss one in 12 HIV-infected people who use it but would incorrectly identify only one patient as having HIV for every 5,000 HIV-negative people tested”