The California Aggie (UC-Davis)
(U-WIRE)-In the United States today, it is estimated that 25 percent of people who are HIV positive are unaware that they have the virus. OraQuick Advance, a new HIV screening method, seeks to make testing faster, easier and less stressful for those getting tested.
While standard HIV tests take between one and two weeks to provide results, the Center for Disease Control estimates that at least 30 percent of people who are tested do not return to pick up their results. OraQuick can be administered and its results can be given within one clinical visit.
Brian Shaw, coordinator of the HIV program for CommuniCare Health Centers, administers the OraQuick testing at clinics in West Sacramento and Woodland. He said the test is free and available to anyone.
Shaw said that while some patients do not come back for results when given the standard test, the drawback of a faster testing time is that people no longer have the same two-week anxious waiting period. It is a hope of health professionals that these patients will reflect on the actions that brought them to be tested.
OraQuick provides results in 20 minutes, and is the only Food and Drug Administration-approved, rapid-point-of-care test that can detect HIV antibodies in oral fluid, blood or plasma samples.