GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – United States authorities announced Tuesday 3 July the approval of a home HIV test, which is expected to go on sale in the country in October.
The test, produced by OraSure Technologies, would require users to take a saliva sample before expecting a result within 20 to 40 minutes.
US Federal Drugs Administration (FDA) said that by approving the over-the-counter test, it hoped it would reach people who would otherwise not be tested. The government estimated that some 1.2 million Americans were HIV positive, but that 20 percent were not aware of their infection.
Tests for the human immunodeficiency virus, which causes AIDS, have become quicker and simpler to use since the first in the 1980s. In 2002, the first clinical tests allowing for immediate results were introduced, and in 2005 the FDA began to explore developing a home test.
Authorities say that in trail tests 1 in every 12 patients with HIV received received a negative result. The FDA emphasized that positive results from the tests must be followed up with a visit to a doctor.