|A model demonstrates how to use the OraQuick test, which
detects the presence of HIV in saliva.
AP photo by Chuck Zovko.
Soon, taking an HIV test will be no more complicated than swabbing one’s mouth and waiting for the results. The Federal Food and Drug Administration last week approved the OraQuick test, which detects HIV antibodies and gives a result in 20 to 40 minutes.
Orasure plans to start selling the test in October at local pharmacies and online, reports Matthew Perrone for The Associated Press. It is expected to cost less than $60 but more than the one used by health professionals, which costs $17.50.
About 240,000 of the 1.2 million people who are suspected of carrying the HIV virus don’t know they are infected.
The FDA says the test is not 100 percent accurate, but a trial conducted by Orasure showed it only detected HIV in people who have the virus 92 percent of the time. It was 99.9 accurate ruling out HIV in people not carrying the virus. People who test negative should re-test after three months because it can take time for the HIV antibodies to appear. (Read more)