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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of United States has approved the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test as the first over-the-counter self-adminstered HIV antibody test that can be performed outside a clinical settting.

Blood Products Advisory committee voted unanimously to approve the test in May. The FDA concluded that the benefits of more people knowing their HIV status outweigh the potential drawbacks in spite of the possibility of the test giving false-negative or false-positive results sometimes.

Judith Aberg, chairperson of the HIV Medicine Association said, “As HIV medical providers and researchers on the front lines of the HIV pandemic, we strongly support expanded access to HIV testing to improve early detection of HIV infection. We also urge continued research and education in heavily affected areas and with low income and minority populations disproportionately affected by HIV to determine how the test instructions and accompanying support materials can raise the accuracy of the test results closer to the level obtained by professionals. Consumer information accompanying this test should also provide clear, ample guidance for people who test positive so they can be linked to confirmatory testing, medical care, and treatment and support services, as well as guidance and resources for those who test negative on how to avoid HIV infection."

The test does not use blood but uses oral fluid, which is slightly different from saliva. To perform the test, the person being tested for HIV gently swabs the device completely around the outer gums, both upper and lower, one time around and inserts it into a vial containing a developer solution. After 20 minutes, the test device will indicate if HIV antibodies are present in the solution by displaying two reddish-purple lines in a small window in the device.

OraQuick is currently available in most clinics and hospitals in Singapore. Action of AIDS Singapore offers anonymous testing services in Singapore. Regardless of the test result, report will not be made to the health authorities. For more information, please click here!


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