Britain’s first legally-approved HIV self-testing kit went on sale online on Monday, promising a result in just 15 minutes with a 99.7 percent accuracy rate. Developers hope the BioSure HIV Self Test will help identify the estimated 26,000 people in Britain who have HIV but do not yet know.
“Knowing your HIV status is critical and the launch of this product will empower people to discreetly test themselves when it is convenient to them and in a place where they feel comfortable,” explained BioSure founder Brigette Bard.
Early diagnosis reduces the risk of passing the disease on to other people and also raises the success rate of modern treatments, which now make the disease manageable.
“Over 40 percent of people living with HIV are diagnosed late, meaning they have been living with HIV for at least four years,” said Deborah Gold, chief executive of the National Aids Trust (NAT).
“People diagnosed late are 11 times more likely to die in the first year after diagnosis,” she added. The kit reacts to antibodies — proteins made in response to the virus — in a drop of the person’s blood, producing two purple lines in the event of a positive diagnosis.
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