The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced on Tuesday that is has approved the first over the counter HIV test kit that allows Americans to test, in the privacy of their own homes, whether they are infected with the virus that causes AIDS.
The OraQuick In-Home HIV Test detects the presence of antibodies to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) and type 2 (HIV-2).
It is the first rapid diagnostic test for any infectious disease that the FDA has approved for sale over the counter.
The kit, from OraSure Technologies of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is an over the counter version of a test used by trained technicians in clinical settings that the FDA approved in 2004.
The user takes an oral swab, and places it in a specially prepared vial that comes with the kit. The result is ready in 20 to 40 minutes.