The world’s most accurate and the first legally approved HIV self-test kit allows people to get a result in 15 minutes and is now on sale in the UK.
The BioSure HIV Self Test is apparently 99.7% accurate, and costs only £30 for the single use disposable kit. However, the test must be performed three months after infection to ensure an accurate result.
The tests work very much like a human pregnancy test – measuring the levels of antibodies (proteins made in response to the virus) in a person’s blood. It can take up to three months for these antibodies to develop, hence why the test is only fully accurate after this period. Any positive results must be verified by a doctor.
The test has been welcomed by charities who believe it will encourage more people to get checked – mainly those who are reluctant to go into a clinic. However, Biosure recommend if you are particularly concerned about potential exposure to HIV, it is best to see a healthcare professional who can perform a test six weeks after the incident.
The developers hope the technology will help identify the estimated 26,000 people in Britain who are HIV positive but do not know it yet.