HIV testing in the privacy of your own home…Would you trust it?
According to USA today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first take home HIV test. It will be available to consumers at their local drug stores (CVS, Walgreens, etc.) The name of the test is called OraQuick.
Here is the way that the test works:
-The OraQuick will be able to determine if the virus is present in your system through a saliva sample. It will take 20-40 minutes for the results to be complete after the sample is taken.
Now in one light, this is a wonderful development, because people can test themselves in the privacy of their own homes and go to the doctor to receive further treatment (as soon as possible) if necessary. There will no longer be any excuse(s) not to be aware of your status. According to government officials, an estimated one-fifth, or about 240,000 people, of the 1.2 million HIV carriers in the U.S. are not aware they are infected.
Another great thing about this over-the-counter test is that it will allow more people of color to test themselves. I say this because, HIV/AIDS testing is often stigmatized in the communities where minorities are the majority and the stigma causes them to be ashamed to go to a clinic to get tested. Magic Johnson is also hoping to help fight the stigma by endorsing the product as well.
The cons of this wonderful development are:
- The take home test is not 100% accurate.
- According to USA Today and the FDA, “A trial conducted by Orasure showed the home test only correctly detected HIV in those carrying the virus 92 percent of the time. That means that the test could miss one person for every 12 HIV-infected people who use the kit.”
- Although I don’t believe that you can put a price on your life, some consumers might find the take home test to be a little pricey; it can be anywhere from $40-$60.
- It’s also a possibility that consumers can become dependent on this test, and use it to self-diagnose. These tests are wonderful, but by no means should they replace a medical professional.
What is your opinion on this? – Would you use a take home HIV test?