First OTC HIV Test Gets FDA Approval
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given approval for a new HIV test for use in the home.
OraQuick, a home test manufactured by OraSure, was approved by the FDA on Tuesday. It uses a cheek swab and provides results in 20 to 40 minutes, making it as easy to use as a home pregnancy test. The test’s approval provides Americans with the opportunity to undergo testing and find out if they have been infected with the HIV virus in the privacy of their homes.
Encouraging people to undergo AIDS testing has been a challenge, due in part to the background of the AIDS epidemic. AIDS emerged in the 1980s, and those who became afflicted with it soon became stigmatized, in part because the disease was mysterious, was commonly transmitted through sexual intercourse, and was often contracted by gay men and drug addicts. Undergoing a test for AIDS, therefore, was seen as an admission that one was either a homosexual or a drug addict. Some gay rights even went as far as warning men against undergoing testing.
If the OraQuick home testing kit yields a positive result, the results will need to be confirmed in a doctor’s office, according to the FDA. The approval of the test, the agency clarified, was not done to replace medical testing, but to provide an alternative means for testing so that more Americans will undergo the procedure, find out if they have been infected, and seek medical attention earlier.Tags: home AIDS test, home hiv test, OraQuick, OraQuick HIV test