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If you haven't been tested for HIV, you probably use the same excuses as the almost 83 million other people ages 18-64 who haven't been screened. "I have to go all the way to the doctor." "It's expensive." "Results take a week." "It's too stressful."
Now there's no reason not to be tested for the life-threatening infection: A new needle-free, at-home test for HIV called OraQuick is now available for less than $40Ã¢â‚¬”just in time for HIV Awareness Month. While OraQuick may look a whole lot like a pregnancy test, it's actually a mouth swab recently approved by the FDA to detect antibodies from HIV-1 or HIV-2 viruses. Get the facts:
How does it work? Swipe the wand's flat pad along your outer gums, both upper and lower. Stick the pad into the vial, wait 20 minutes, and look for a little pink line. One line by C means the test was performed successfully. A line by C and a line by T means that the test detected HIV antibodies. Pretty easy, right? Watch this video for a demo:
How effective is it?Ã¢â‚¬Â¨ The test is pretty reliable at detecting the virus, with a 99.98 percent rate of accuracy, a false positive in just one in 5,000 tests. However, its false negative rate is one in 12, meaning many people infected with HIV could remain undiagnosed if they don't follow up with further testing.
How much does it cost? $36 each, or less if you buy multiple tests.
Where can I get it? Buy it here now, or look for it in drugstores in the coming months.