First Self-testing HIV Kit Goes on sale in UK, Result in 15 Mins

BioSure released the first self-testing kit and claims that it is 99.7% accurate. 

1 min read
IN this representational picture, a staff member at the AIDS Service Center of New York City holds an OraQuick Advance Rapid HIV-1/2 Antibody test kit. (Photo: Reuters)

In what seems to be a giant leap for mankind, the first HIV self-testing kit has gone on sale in the UK. The kit launched by BioSure allows people to get a result in just 15 minutes and at home.

The company claims to have a 99.7% accuracy rate and says that it works in a way similar to a pregnancy test.

How it Works

- Takes blood from the finger-tip using a lancet and measures levels of antibodies, which are often only detectable three months after the infection is caught.

- If positive, two purple lines appear and it means that further blood tests are recommended.

- However experts say that if it shows negative, it does NOT mean that people are definitely virus free.

BBC News reports that the kit is NOT reliable in the first three months when the infection is still causing antibodies to develop.

It is hoped that the kit, which can be bought online, will reduce some of the 26,000 people estimated to have undiagnosed HIV in the UK. An early diagnosis allows people to get treatment quickly and can prevent serious complications. Individuals successfully treated for HIV are less likely to pass the infection on.

We have campaigned for a long time to secure the legalisation of HIV self-test kits which happened in April 2014. So it is great to see the first self-test kits being approved. However, it is important to make sure people can get quick access to support when they get their result.
– Dr Rosemary Gillespie, Chief Executive at Terrence Higgins Trust

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