Diagnosing HIV is about to become easier, with Britain’s first self-testing kit that can tell you whether you have the virus in about 15 minutes. The long wait for the blood test might be over as the new test will become available. It is easy to use, safe, quite cheap and it is very accurate. The kit was tested and it carries the European CE mark.
The name of the new product is BioSURE HIV Self Test and it is soon to be purchased by all those who want to find out if they carry the virus, in the privacy of their own home, without having to give useless explanations. According to the Mirror, it is 99.7 % accurate. People who want them can get them online, on www.hivselftest.co.uk, a website set by BioSURE or www.freedoms-shop.com, an NHS online shop, at the price of $ 29.95. All the test requires is a few drops of blood. However, this test, just like other tests available, cannot detect an early infection. Three months need to have passed since the person caught the virus, in order to allow antibodies to be detected.
Specialists believe the test can have a very positive outcome, as it may help reduce the infection rates up to a large extent. At the same time, the test will most likely identify more people who have the virus but are not aware of it yet, according to BioSURE founder Brigette Bard. There are currently 110,000 people diagnosed with HIV in Great Britain. The developers of the kit estimate that a number of 26,000 more cases will be discovered in this country. Diagnosing them as early as possible will not only help reduce the risk of spreading it, but it will also raise the efficacy of treatments that are available. Therefore, patients will be able to live with it longer and manage the disease better. This comes as very good news, since the current statistics show that more than 40 % of people who have HIV are diagnosed later than 4 years after they were contaminated. According to chief executive of the National Aids Trust Deborah Gold, these people have 11 times smaller chances of survival in the first year after being diagnosed.
The kit only requires a drop of blood. It immediately reacts to the antibodies present in it and it shows two purple lines if the person tests positive for HIV. Antibodies are basically proteins created in response to the virus, which are usually formed three months after the infection.
If the case of a positive diagnosis, the person should not hesitate to contact a professional to have a clear confirmation of the results.
There are other similar tests. One of them includes collecting a blood sample at home, sending it to a lab and waiting for the confirmation in five days. Another one is a test available in U.S.A., that takes 30 minutes and involves collecting a sample of the person’s blood or saliva.
Image Source: Theguardian
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