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Over The Counter HIV Test May Not Have All The Answers

By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – There is a new over-the-counter, home-based HIV test called OraQuick.

The hope has been that this home test might lower the barriers to care or reduce HIV transmission. But, according to a report in the Annals of Internal Medicine, with its relatively high cost, the test is likely to attract affluent persons at low risk for infection, persons with very recent high-risk exposures, or those with diagnosed HIV seeking to find out if treatment has reversed the condition.

It is important for patients to understand both the benefits and the limitations of the test so they may make informed decisions about monitoring their HIV status and engaging sexual partners.

Home testing is a great idea but the bottom line is that follow up and counseling are key.

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