HIVMA urges timely reconsideration of the rapid test for approval when the accuracy of consumer driven rapid tests can be increased to at least 95%.
HIVMA supports over-the-counter availability of rapid antibody HIV testing as another means to increase individual awareness of HIV status and help improve early detection of HIV infection. However, we are concerned by the data indicating that when administered by consumers the accuracy of the rapid HIV tests drops to 93% as compared to 99% when conducted by professionals. We still believe the rapid test holds great promise as a self-directed tool for individuals to learn their HIV status and urge continued research and education in heavily impacted areas and with the low income and minority populations disproportionately affected by HIV infection to determine how the instructions and accompanying support materials can raise the accuracy of the test results closer to the level obtained by professionals.
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