First HIV Self-Testing Kit Goes on Sale in United Kingdom

First HIV Self-Testing Kit Goes on Sale in United Kingdom
Highlights

The first HIV self-testing kit that allows people to get a result in just 15 minutes at home has gone on sale in the UK.The BioSure HIV Self Test, which claims to have a 99.7 per cent accuracy rate, works in a similar way to a pregnancy test, measuring levels of antibodies in a person\'s blood.

The first HIV self-testing kit that allows people to get a result in just 15 minutes at home has gone on sale in the UK.The BioSure HIV Self Test, which claims to have a 99.7 per cent accuracy rate, works in a similar way to a pregnancy test, measuring levels of antibodies in a person's blood.

The test detects antibodies on a small drop of blood, taken from the finger-tip using a lancet. These antibodies are often only detectable three months after the HIV infection is caught.

Two purple lines appear if the result is positive.
Further blood tests are recommended if both lines appear.
However, if the test is negative experts say it does not mean people are definitely virus free.
The three-month window period, between the moment someone catches the infection and the time it can take for antibodies to develop, means the kit is not reliable during this time, 'BBC News' reported.
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 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," said Dr Rosemary Gillespie, chief executive at Terrence Higgins Trust.
"However, it is important to make sure people can get quick access to support when they get their result," Gillespie said.
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