The HIV test of the future might be as hassle-free as a pregnancy test … and it was invented by a teenager.
Although still in development, a new HIV test may be able to detect the disease from a drop of blood as quickly as a week after a person contracts it. The test would also be disposable and easy to use in underdeveloped countries where HIV and AIDS runs rampant.
Nicole Ticea of Vancouver, BC, invented the early-stage HIV test for a science fair at York House School. She ended up taking home first place for the invention. With the help of Simon Fraser University researchers Professor Mark Brockman Gursev Anmole, the teen created the rapid blood analysis by developing an isothermic nucleic acid amplification system, which allows researchers to detect certain targets in DNA — in this case, HIV infection.
The test is a long way from mass production at this point, but if it is found to be as effective as the teen hopes it will be, it could help stop the spread of HIV and AIDS in underdeveloped countries by quickly, easily and affordably alerting people that they have the infection.