OraSure’s OraQuick In Home HIV test

In-home HIV AIDS Test Saliva Swabbing Cheek
Home HIV test is as easy as swabbing your cheek

There are many reasons that people may avoid being tested for HIV. Arguably the two of the biggest reasons involve the fear of getting a positive test result, and the fear that your privacy and confidentiality would be violated. The latter of these fears can be reduced thanks to the foresight and work of a company named OraSure Technologies.  OraSure has developed an at home HIV test called OraQuick In-home HIV test, which would allow someone to find out whether or not they have the virus within the privacy of his own home.

Home HIV testing

OraQuick In-home HIV test is the first FDA approved HIV test that you can read yourself, and there’s no blood involved! That means you don’t have to prick your finger, and place a blood sample on a collection card for it to work. Instead you gently swipe the test swab along your upper gums once and your lower gums once. Then you insert the swab inside the test tube provided and can read your results in just 20 minutes, with no outside facilities involved.  This is a stark improvement on regular testing, which often requires making an appointment, going to a clinic or doctors office, providing a blood sample and then wondering and waiting for the results for 1-3 weeks. To ensure that you do the test accurately OraSure have also posted a how to video detailing exactly how to do the test. It seems that the makers of the home test have thought of everything, even providing a hotline that you can call for support. You can buy the home HIV test online, from your local pharmacy, or grocery store. The test cost $40.00 and you must be over 17 in order to purchase it.

Home HIV test may need to be repeated

The company advises that a positive test result using the home HIV test must be confirmed by follow-up laboratory-based testing.  Like all HIV tests, they also advise that a negative result does not confirm that a user has definitely not picked up the virus, especially if he/she may have been infected by virus within the previous three months.  They also warn that if you take part in risky behaviors such as having unprotected sex with new partners, or injecting illegal drugs you should re-test on a regular basis. Some advocates say that the test could be used as a tool for pre-screening prospective sexual partners. If used in this way it could potentially reduce the 50,000 new infections diagnosed each year.

The importance of early HIV/AIDS detection

Now to address the other biggest fear: not wanting to find out. It is important to remember that early detection can lead to early treatment and better outcomes. With all the new treatments that have come on the horizon, many people live long normal lives.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) warns that without medical care, HIV leads to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) and early death.  Drugs such as ART have helped people with HIV to live longer, healthier lives and also lower the chances of passing HIV on to others. Sadly, the CDC also notes that only 28% are getting the care they need to manage the disease and keep the virus under control. This is why getting tested is so important. To help stop HIV, we must get tested, and now Orasure’s Oraquick in-home  HIV test has provided us with a much faster, confidential, comfortable, and easier way to do it.

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Author: Michael Morgenstern M.D.

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