The FDA has approved a new at-home test for HIV. The OraQuick test, manufactured by Orasure, detects the presence of HIV in the saliva through a sample collected with a mouth swab with results ready in 20 to 40 minutes.
The faster results and more private nature of the OraQuick test may appeal more to people who were previously unwilling to be tested in the healthcare setting, resulting in a decrease in the estimated number of 240,000 people who experts believe may be unaware they are carrying HIV.
With more people who were previously unaware they were HIV positive now being diagnosed, experts believe there will be an increase in the number of HIV carriers taking measures against spreading the disease and seeking treatment.
While this is a positive development in the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS, the FDA emphasized that the OraQuick test is not 100 percent accurate; trial results showed that the test accurately diagnosed HIV 92 percent of the time, and accurately ruled out HIV 99 percent of the time.
OraQuick will be sold in most major retail pharmacies, as well as online. The price for the test has not yet been set, but will be below $60 – a price that Orasure said will support a toll-free call center to provide counseling and medical referrals to test users.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, the Vitals HIV/AIDS Patient Guide is a useful source of information on the disease, what to expect for your treatment, questions to ask your doctor, and more.