May 15, 2012

May 15, 2012
FDA Sets Eyes on OraQuick's In-Home HIV Test

Welcome to another day in my life. Today is Tuesday and I hope you are having a safe and great week so far. It is another busy week for Dab the AIDS Bear and me. Todd has multiple doctor visits this week and I have a dentist appointment on Friday.

Today, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) will discuss the safety and effectiveness of the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test. This is a test which consumers would be able to purchase over the counter, take home and in 20 minutes find out their HIV status. Whos Positive conducted a Nationwide Survey and gathered responses from 1,569 participants.

Overall, the survey findings demonstrate support for rapid OTC testing - particularly from the HIV community - with approximately half of the respondents identified as people living with HIV/AIDS. It should be noted that the survey was conducted online, and thus its findings are not scientific. However, it offers some interesting insights.

Seventy-four percent (74%) of respondents said that they would support an OTC rapid, oral swab HIV test that could be purchased in a retail store, if approved by the FDA.

Other key findings of the survey found:

66% of the respondents who identify as a HIV-positive consumer support an OTC HIV test;

80% of those aged to 30 support an OTC HIV test;

A majority or nearly 52% of those who identified as a paid member of an HIV/AIDS organization support an OTC HIV test; and

47% of those who identify as one who performs HIV testing support an HIV OTC test.

Our survey demonstrates widespread support for additional testing options, especially among younger generations and those who are already living with HIV, said Tom Donohue, Founding Director of Whos Positive. "Over-the-counter testing has the potential to break down barriers and empower people who have never been tested before to learn their HIV status and, if positive, find the care and support they need."

How will an over the counter test affect already cash strapped AIDS Drug Assistance Programs? The jury is still out on that. As of May 10, 2012, there are 2,759 individuals on ADAP waiting lists in ten (10) states, according to the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) report. The number of states with waiting lists and individuals on them held relatively steady from last weeks update with a total increase of 55 individuals.

Hope you have a safe and great Tuesday!

Until we meet again; here's wishing you health, hope, happiness and just enough.

big bear hug,

Daddy Dab