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Another Step Toward HIV Prevention

Less than a week after the HIV preventative pill Truvada was approved for mass retail, the Food and Drug Administration is now considering an over-the-counter (OTC) testing kit. According to CNN, the panel who recommended the consideration of OraQuick in-Home Test to the FDA advisory committee said it’s safe and effective and its benefits far outweigh the potential risks. In another landmark consideration, OraQuick would be the first OTC test for HIV or any other infectious diseases.

The kit gives results in 20 minutes, has only been used in clinical settings, and is 99.98 percent effective in determining who did not have the virus. The In-home test is a modified version where the individual swabs the upper and lower gums with a test pad device, then that device is inserted into a vial of solution. Much like a pregnancy test, one line shows up if the test is negative, two lines means it's positive. "We need to do whatever we need, to move the needle of the number of people who don't know their status," said Whitney Cordova of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. "This test helps do that. The perfect cannot be the enemy of the good."

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