US approves HIV home test kit


An HIV home test kit has been approved for marketing in the US. The ‘OraQuick’ kit from US diagnostics firm OraSure, is already in use by clinics, but until now the company has not been allowed to market it for home use.

Users collect an oral sample by swabbing their gums and putting the swab into a buffer solution. The kit then provides a result in 20–40 minutes.

The Food and Drug Administration says that the test should not be considered conclusive. It gets the answer right 92% of the time when the user is infected and 99.98% when they aren't. Despite this shortcoming, the FDA adds: ‘The test has the potential to identify large numbers of previously undiagnosed HIV infections, especially if used by those unlikely to use standard screening methods.’

OraSure is planning to launch the home test version of the kit in October.


Related Content

US opens up home DNA screening

25 February 2015 Business

news image

FDA approves single disease genetic test and clears pathway for similar devices

Chemistry World podcast - January 2014

15 January 2014 Podcast | Monthly

news image

This month, we examine the controversy surrounding the Turin shroud and explore the history of crystallography

Most Read

First pictures of hydrogen bonds unveiled

26 September 2013 Research

news image

Observation of intermolecular interactions in quinolines could help to settle the nature of this kind of bonding

Flowing rivers of mercury

7 January 2015 Feature

news image

Philip Ball investigates claims that the burial chamber of China’s first emperor contains rivers of shimmering mercury

Most Commented

Oh, the humanities!

20 April 2015 The Crucible

news image

Science and the arts are equally essential to society, says Philip Ball. Don’t divide them by their differences

Relativity behind mercury's liquidity

21 June 2013 Research

news image

First evidence that relativistic effects are indeed responsible for mercury's low melting point