For the first time ever, a new home HIV test is now available at retailers around the country. PA-based OraSure Technologies has released the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test, making it the first HIV test of its kind to be available directly to consumers for in-home use. To mark the launch, OraSure will be collaborating with celebrities as part of an ongoing awareness campaign on the importance of knowing your HIV status.
“For the first time ever, individuals now have access to an in-home rapid oral HIV test – the same test healthcare professionals have used and trusted for years – that will empower them to learn their HIV status in the comfort and privacy of their own home,” says Douglas A. Michels, OraSure President and CEO. ”This is a tremendous breakthrough in our fight against HIV and AIDS.”
He says the test is easy to use – it detects antibodies to both HIV-1 and HIV-2 with an oral swab, providing results in as little as 20 minutes. This in-home test is actually an over-the-counter version of OraQuick Advance, an oral swab test that’s currently being used by doctors, hospitals, clinics and other trained professionals.
While some HIV experts and activists have questioned the impact that finding results could have on someone who’s without any professional support at home (unlike in a clinic where educational materials and therapy is provided), OraSure has launched a 24-hour support system. Test takers may call a toll-free number (866-436-6527) to have their questions answered about everything from HIV/AIDS to using the test and interpreting the results.
The company is also providing referrals to follow-up and care. The product website includes access to resources and access to follow-up counseling, confirmatory testing and medical care throughout the country, as well as a how-to video for using the test.
What do you think? Is an in-home HIV test a good idea?