The Oraquick device will give you quick results. (Photo : CDC)
People in the United States will finally get an over-the-counter test for HIV. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a test they described as "a technology whose time has come," and would allow Americans to find out if they have the deadly virus in the privacy in their own homes.
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The Oraquick test only requires saliva and looks for the presence of HIV antibodies. It will give results within 20 and 40 minutes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.2 million in the United States are infected with HIV and approximately 20 percent of those people do not know they are infected. While the reasons may vary, the social stigma of getting tested for HIV might be one of them.
"The availability of a home-use HIV test kit provides another option for individuals to get tested so that they can seek medical care, if appropriate," said Dr. Karen Midthun, director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research.
Testing is seen as a way of reducing the steady 50,000 people a year that are infected in the United States.
The Pennsylvania-based company Orasure plans on making the tests available in October through stores such as Walgreens, CVS, and Walmart for around $60.
The test is the latest development in the ever-evolving war against HIV. Vaccines against the deadly disease are on the horizon, and in-home testing means that HIV will no longer have the stigma it once had.