HIV testing has gotten a lot easier–and more private. OraSure Technologies, Inc., maker of the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test, has just announced the launch of a nationwide awareness campaign to encourage everyone to learn their HIV status. The campaign is called “Make Knowing Your Thing Today” and asks people nationwide to share their story about their decision to test for HIV, reports the Sacramento Bee.
Petitions aside, Earvin “Magic” Johnson teamed with OraSure for the launch of the campaign, sharing his story of knowing his status and encouraging others to do the same. The former LA Lakers basketball star shocked the world when, in 1991, he announced that he contracted HIV.
OraQuick In-Home HIV Test is the first ever in-home rapid infectious disease test made available over the counter to consumers, only receiving FDA approval last July. The price is about $40, sold in many national drugstore and mass merchandiser retail outlets as well as online at OraQuick.com. The test detects antibodies to both HIV-1 and HIV-2 with an oral swab, with results in about 20 minutes.
According to the New York Times, besides self testing, OraQuick could also be used to test potential sex partners. “[S]ome experts and advocates say that another use, unadvertised, for the OraQuick test — to screen potential sexual partners — may become equally popular and even help slow an epidemic stuck at 50,000 new infections each year in the United States,” writes the Times.
On the downside, there are questions about the accuracy of the test because it’s being administered by consumers rather than medical professionals. Some are also concerned because there is no in-person counseling to provide help to those who test positive.
Would you use in-home HIV testing?