According to the authors of a new editorial published early online in Annals of Internal Medicine, the new over-the-counter, home-based HIV test, OraQuick, is not likely to lower the barriers to care or reduce HIV transmission.
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 their seropositivity.
The authors, both renowned HIV experts, recommend that physicians counsel their patients about the use, misuse, and anticipated benefits of home HIV testing.
According to the authors, 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.
Ultimately, home testing is not a substitute for routine HIV screening in a professional health care setting, and is unlikely to help identify the 235,000 Americans who are still unaware of their HIV infection.
News from Annals of Internal Medicine: Oct. 9, 2012