FDA Approves First Rapid, Take Home HIV Test

Update- The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first over-the-counter HIV test, allowing Americans to test themselves for the virus that causes AIDS in the privacy of their homes. Read more updates

When it comes to finding a cure for HIV, there are many procedures being researched to help lower the amount of those infected with this disease. Now research is being done on the first rapid, take homie HIV test.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek: The 17 members of the Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted unanimously that the benefits of the OraQuick HIV test outweigh its potential risks for consumers. While the test, which uses a mouth swab to return a result in 20 minutes, does not appear to be as accurate as professionally-administered diagnostics, panelists said it could provide an important way to expand HIV testing.

Despite concerns about less-than-perfect use by the public, the panel overwhelmingly sided with more than two dozen HIV advocates and doctors, who said the test represents a step forward in combating the virus.

“Over-the-counter testing has the potential to reach a far greater number of people who want to know their HIV status on their own terms,” said Tom Donohue, founder of HIV awareness group Who’s Positive.

“We are always looking for game changers, and we believe this is one of them,” said Carl Schmid, deputy director of the AIDS Institute. “Not only will it help reduce the number of infections but it will bring more people into care and treatment.”

According to an FDA analysis of available data, nearly 3 million people are expected to use the OTC test if approved and that it may potentially identify 45,000 people living with HIV in the U.S.

However, a trial conducted by the company showed the home test only correctly detected HIV in those carrying the virus 93 percent of the time. The FDA estimated the test would miss about 3,800 HIV-positive people per year, while correctly identifying 45,000, if approved for U.S. consumers.

More results and possible release date will be updated.

Do you think the take home test will have a positive effect on HIV? Would you take one? Sound off!